Geert Wilders’ PVV party will stand in only two cities in next year’s local elections. Wilders, who thinks the Koran should be banned and wants a halt to immigration, said the PVV planned to focus on the national and regional elections in 2011. ‘We want to be ready to rule so we need to be in the senate,’ he told ANP.

Although Wilders had been planning to field candidates in more locations, the party will run only in Almere and the Hague. Wilders told ANP that the strategy is an attempt to avoid the fate of the late Pim Fortuyn’s anti-Islam LPF party in 2002, which the party took 26 seats in parliament but collapsed due to inexperience and infighting.

Political parties have criticized Wilders’ decision to largely ignore the local elections. Femke Halsema, leader of the leftwing Groenlinks party, told Telegraaf, “He takes part in the European election although he doesn’t believe in it and now he won’t take part in the cities where he says he wants to solve problems.” But Maurice de Hond describes Wilders’ decision as ‘very clever’ in electoral terms as making mistakes in local councils could cost the party in parliamentary elections, he tells Telegraaf.

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