Christian Democrat MPs back deal with Wilders

Dutch Christian Democrats (CDA) endorsed a government coalition with liberals relying on the support of an outspokenly anti-Islamic party on Tuesday, but analysts said the pact could prove frail.

The coalition born of three months of wrangling will rely on backing from the Freedom Party (PVV) of Geert Wilders, currently on trial for public criticisms of Islam including a comparison with Nazism. Concessions to the PVV include a pledge to ban the Islamic burqa face covering and tighter immigration rules.

The deal was sealed when all 21 CDA MPs voted to back a pact with the Liberal VVD. Two MPs had echoed reservations expressed on Saturday by a CDA congress about the recourse to PVV support.

Reuters, 5 October 2010

Update:  See also “Christian Democrat dissidents back coalition but remain anti-Wilders”, Dutch News, 6 October 2010

Further update:  See “Another Dutch Christian Democrat resigns”, RNW, 6 October 2010