By dpa, Reuters, AFP
Date: 5/3/2017
With just 10 days until the Netherlands elects its next government, Wilders delivered a statement to reporters in which he slammed plans by Turkish officials to campaign in the European country.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and other Dutch officials have already criticized plans to hold the rally in support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam.
«They should not come here and interfere with our domestic problems,» Wilders told reporters, referring to the Turkish officials planning to attend the rally.
He went on to call for a ban on the politicians from entering the country, saying in English, «If I would be prime minister today I would declare – until at least the half of April when they have the referendum – I would call the whole cabinet of Turkey persona non-grata for a month or two, not allowing them to come here.»
Wilders, who officially launched his campaign in February, also said the Dutch government was weak for not banning the rally and referred to Erdogan as an «Islamo-fascist leader.»
Vying for votes
Wilders’ far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) led opinion polls for several months, with around 20 percent support, which was seen as enough to lead a multi-party coalition, if only the other parties hadn’t ruled out a deal with Wilder’s party. But the PVV has lost ground in recent weeks.
In the most recent poll released on Wednesday, it now trails Rutte’s conservative liberal VVD by 16.3 percent to 15.7 percent.
Wilder’s who last month launched his campaign denouncing what he called «Moroccan scum who make the streets unsafe,» has previously being fined for inciting racial hatred.
Wilders mired in controversy
The controversial MP suspended campaigning for a few days last week after one his security officials was arrested on suspicion of passing classified information about Wilders to a Dutch-Moroccan crime gang.
The firebrand lawmaker, who has courted controversy with his hardline anti-Islam, anti-immigrant stance and incendiary insults against Moroccans and Turks, has long been under 24-hour police protection.
He promised to return to campaining this weekend on an anti-immigration and anti-EU platform.
The 53-year-old has vowed that if elected he will pull the Netherlands out of the EU, ban the sale of Korans, close mosques and Islamic schools, shut Dutch borders and ban Muslim migrants.