Europe

Dutch premier wants to turn tide of populism in election

  • Dutch Prime Mark Rutte arrives for a press conference at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, March 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    Dutch Prime Mark Rutte arrives for a press conference at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, March 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)  (The Associated Press)

  • Dutch Prime Mark Rutte gestures during a press conference at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, March 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    Dutch Prime Mark Rutte gestures during a press conference at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, March 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)  (The Associated Press)

The Dutch prime minister says that he wants the Netherlands to turn the tide of populism in this week's parliamentary election.

Mark Rutte said Monday that "I want the Netherlands to be the first country which stops this trend of the wrong kind of populism." He was alluding to the British vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election.

Rutte has warned that an election victory for far-right, anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders' Party for Freedom in Wednesday's vote could plunge the Netherlands into chaos.

However, Wilders is unlikely to be able to form the next government even if he wins the popular vote as all mainstream parties have ruled out working with Wilders in this country whose proportional representation voting system guarantees coalitions.