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Dutch PM restates opposition to coalition with Wilders
December 9, 2016 / 1:38 PM / a year ago

Dutch PM restates opposition to coalition with Wilders

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said neither he nor his party would be prepared to govern in coalition with anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders unless he retracted the comments about Moroccans for which he was convicted of incitement on Friday.

Dutch far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders sits in a courtroom of the courthouse in Schiphol, Netherlands March 18, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Kooren/Files

“It is impossible to contemplate working in a cabinet with this party until the comments are taken back,” Rutte told reporters, reaffirming a commitment he had made in 2014.

Wilders led a crowd in a chant then, calling for “fewer! fewer!” Moroccans. That incident led to his trial and on Friday his conviction for insulting Moroccans and inciting discrimination against them.

Wilders’s far-right Freedom Party leads in polls ahead of Rutte’s second-placed right-liberal VVD party. Excluding the party from coalition talks after March’s elections might leave no alternative to an unwieldy multi-party government.

Reporting By Thomas Escritt, editing by Larry King

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