Europe

Elections, anyone? 1 Dutch poll, 81 parties makes it busy

FILE - In this Wednesday, July 27, 20005 file photo, Peter Plasman, lawyer of Mohammed Bouyeri, arrives at the court for the third preliminary hearing of the Hofstad group in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Plasman showed up at the Netherlands’ national electoral commission's offices Monday, Jan. 30, 2017 to register one of the more unusual parties bidding to take part in the upcoming Dutch election _ a party for people who don’t vote. Plasman was hardly an exception when it came to flouting convention. A record 81 parties had expressed interest in taking part in the March 15 parliamentary election. Monday was the day they all had to hand in their paperwork. (AP Photo/ Fred Ernst, File)

FILE - In this Wednesday, July 27, 20005 file photo, Peter Plasman, lawyer of Mohammed Bouyeri, arrives at the court for the third preliminary hearing of the Hofstad group in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Plasman showed up at the Netherlands’ national electoral commission's offices Monday, Jan. 30, 2017 to register one of the more unusual parties bidding to take part in the upcoming Dutch election _ a party for people who don’t vote. Plasman was hardly an exception when it came to flouting convention. A record 81 parties had expressed interest in taking part in the March 15 parliamentary election. Monday was the day they all had to hand in their paperwork. (AP Photo/ Fred Ernst, File)  (The Associated Press)

It is crunch time for the 81 parties that registered to take part in the Netherlands' March 15 election.

Parties must send representatives to the national electoral commission's offices on Monday to hand in paperwork — and in many cases a deposit — if they are to be declared eligible to put up candidates in the election, which is hotly anticipated as a clash between traditional parties and populists.

For the likes of the ruling People's Party of Freedom and Democracy of two-time Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Party for Freedom of anti-Islam firebrand Geert Wilders, the paperwork ought to be a formality.

For tiny splinter parties running on quirky platforms seeking to contest their first election, it is not so simple.