A number of right-wing extremists are among the people who signed pledges of support for the anti-Islam PVV in the provincial elections, according to the anti-fascist research group Kafka in Wednesday’s Volkskrant.
Political parties need to gather 30 signatures from supporters before being allowed to take part in elections. Kafka looked at the signatures in 17 of the country’s 20 voting districts.
The lists include the signatures of Wim Elsthout and Ruud Enthoven, who were members of the extreme right-wing Centrumdemocraten and helped relaunch the party.
Kafka also found several people with an extreme-right past among the party’s candidates for provincial government. One on the Groningen list had already hit the headlines for trying to drum up support for the PVV on far-right websites.
“These are people whose past is known,” said Kafka researcher Jaan van Beek. “The party does not want to have anything to do with the far-right. So why does it ask for their signatures?”
According to Mel, “it simply turned the people threatening the free world into victims and the politician who is trying to defend the free world against that threat into a fascist. Muslims were presented as universally peaceful people signed up to democracy and human rights; Wilders was presented as the extremist threat to democracy and human rights. Yet as Wilders himself was quoted as saying – even while the script was telling us that these words were ‘extremist’ – he was defending freedom against the threat from Islamists to extinguish those freedoms.”