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15th January 2024 Geert Wilders arrives at palace on the Dam for the Dutch Kings annual New Years Reception.

IMAGO/Richard Wareham via Reuters Connect

Wilders in the wilderness: Far-right Dutchman drops PM bid

Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders will not become prime minister of his country, despite getting the most votes in last year’s election.

Although Wilders’ PVV party swept to victory on a scorching anti-Islam and anti-migrant “Dutch First” message, he still needed coalition partners to form a government. Months of talks with a handful of center-right parties ended this week without support for Wilders as PM.

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People wait for Socialist Party (PS) Secretary General Pedro Nuno Santos to arrive for a campaign rally ahead of the snap elections in Afurada, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, March 4, 2024.

REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

Portugal election after corruption scandal fuels far-right

“A good place to stash books. Or to stash 75,800 euros." So reads a bold IKEA bookcase ad with a wink to the scandal of that amount of cash being discovered in books in Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa's office. That tells you everything you need to know about the country’s election this Sunday.

Portugal’s vote is all about corruption, and we think IKEA’s marketing team deserves a raise.

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Dutch far-right politician and leader of the PVV, Geert Wilders, reacts as he meets the press in November 2023.

REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

Who will work with Wilders?

Geert Wilders is still looking for a dance partner. In November, his far-right Freedom Party, or PVV, finished first, with 23.5% of the vote in Dutch parliamentary elections, giving Wilders the first shot at finding coalition parties that allow him to form and lead a new government.
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Protesters march while carrying placards and chanting slogans in the "Feminists March Against Femicide" in Kenya.

James Wakibia/SOPA Images/Sipa USA

Hard Numbers: Kenyans march against femicide, Corruption costs Ukrainian defense, Germans protest far right, Evergrande tries to avoid liquidation (again), Say more than ‘Oui’ to Paris!

14: So far this year, 14 women have been murdered as a result of gender-based violence in Kenya, and thousands took to the streets in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, on Saturday in response. Nearly a third of Kenyan women face physical violence at some point in their lives, while 13% are victims of sexual violence, according to a 2023 government report.

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Paige Fusco

Tucker Carlson, Liberator?

Tucker Carlson visited Canada this week to “liberate” it from … from what exactly?

Well, that’s what thousands of people – including the premier of Alberta – came to Calgary and Edmonton to hear in packed arenas.

Tucker’s two-day liberation tour from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “authoritarian dictatorship” is timed perfectly around two political pieces of populist kindling: Trump’s march to victory in the US presidential primaries and a Canadian judge’s ruling that the Liberal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act during the Trucker pandemic protest was “unreasonable” and unconstitutional.

It all sent a message: The populist forces are gathering and ready to take down Trudeau (and Biden) and save Canada from “disgusting decline.”

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Dutch far-right politician and leader of the Freedom Party Geert Wilders gestures as he meets with party members after the parliamentary elections in The Hague, Netherlands, on Nov. 23, 2023.

REUTERS/Yves Herman

Dutch voters take hard-right turn: Will more of the EU follow?

After winning 25% of the seats in the Dutch Parliament last Wednesday, far-right firebrand Geert Wilders says he’s willing to compromise on his hard-line manifesto to get the support he needs to form the next government of the Netherlands. “I will be prime minister of this beautiful country,” he declared on X.
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At a civic march against antisemitism in Paris this weekend, a far-right political procession saw Marine Le Pen, president and deputy of the Rassemblement National group (center) demonstrate along with her deputies, including Sebastien Chenu (left) and Jordan Bardella, president of the RN (right).

Photographie de Amaury Cornu / Hans Lucas via Reuters.

Will Gaza-related protests shake up national politics?

Israel’s war against Hamas inspired a weekend of international protests. In London, more than 300,000 people marched on Saturday, calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. In the United States, pro-Palestine marchers gathered near President Joe Biden’s home in Delaware, chanting “Biden, Biden you can’t hide. We charge you with genocide.”

Meanwhile, in Paris on Sunday, a 100,000-person march against antisemitism saw Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally, take part, while Luc Mélenchon, leader of the left-wing France Unbowed refused to attend because he felt it was a "rendezvous for unconditional supporters of the massacre [of Gazans]."

Will divisions over Israel’s war have electoral implications? In Britain, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer is favored to win the next election, but his refusal to call for a cease-fire has provoked a rebellion within his party. One shadow minister recently remarked that Labour was “hemorrhaging Muslim votes massively – enough to lose seats if there was an election tomorrow.”

In the US,Biden’s handling of the Gaza crisis has split Democrats, with nearly half disapproving of his approach. Meanwhile, support for the president among Arab and Muslims has plummeted – one recent poll showed support for him dropping from 59% to just 17% among Arab Americans – potentially putting him in electoral jeopardy in key swing states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania which are home to sizable Arab and Muslim populations.

We’ll be watching to see whether politicians on the left are punished for their pro-Israel stances in upcoming elections and whether this will lead to a longer-term realignment.

Annie Gugliotta

Can a far-right populist win in Argentina?

For the first time ever, someone unaffiliated with either of Argentina’s two main political blocs is making a serious run at the presidency. In fact, Javier Milei is not a traditional politician but an eccentric economist and TV provocateur who promises radical measures to rescue an economy in shambles and tame an annual inflation rate hovering over 100%. He claims to not have brushed his hair since he was 13 and is famous for antics like auctioning off his paycheck. With six months to go to the Oct. 22 election, Milei's message is resonating especially with young voters fed up with a political establishment that has long been unable to solve the country’s problems. Let's learn more about this guy from Eurasia Group analyst Luciano Sigalov.

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