Dutch lawmaker suspends campaigning due to security scandal

Anti-Islam Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders on Thursday suspended open campaigning for next month's parliamentary election in the wake of a scandal centering on a security official who is part of a the team giving him round-the-clock protection.

Wilders was reacting to a newspaper story claiming the security official, already detained on suspicion of leaking classified information, was also suspected of infractions earlier in his career.

Wilders said in a tweet that "the news is incredibly worrisome" and added that until the situation has been cleared up his populist Party for Freedom was suspending "public activities." He had been expected to campaign again over the weekend.

Wilders has lived for more than a decade under around-the-clock protection and in anonymous safe houses following death threats. The detained officer is part of a team responsible for security around top politicians and diplomats.

The Netherlands holds its parliamentary election on March 15 and Wilders' Party of Freedom could well come out on top, even though he is likely to be kept out of any coalition government.

Despite Wilders' security concern, the government said it was safe for him to continue campaigning.

"All politicians, Geert Wilders and others, can safely get on the streets. We guarantee that," Dutch Security and Justice Minister Stef Blok told NOS network. The minister had discussed the issue with Wilders.

The extent of the breach and its impact on the tight security cordon that constantly surrounds Wilders was not immediately clear.

Wilders was convicted last year for anti-Moroccan comments and while campaigning just last weekend referred to "Moroccan scum" who commit crimes in the Netherlands. His manifesto includes closing Dutch borders to all migrants from Muslim nations, banning the Quran and shutting all mosques in the Netherlands.

The last time the Netherlands was the scene of a political murder was in 2002, when populist politician Pim Fortuyn was gunned down in a parking lot by an animal rights activist.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
How the cortex assigns credit for causality

How the cortex assigns credit for causality..

28-Jun, 11:06

When you do something right, you can't learn anything from your success...

Camber Sands: 'Increase in non-British visitors' to deaths beach

Camber Sands: 'Increase in non-British visitors' to deaths beach..

28-Jun, 16:02

The changing demographics of visitors to Camber Sands in the years before...

Liam Payne shares FIRST ever picture of his son Bear Payne – three months after Cheryl gives birth

Liam Payne shares FIRST ever picture of his son Bear Payne – three months after Cheryl gives..

28-Jun, 10:42

Taking to Instagram, the One Direction star shared a sweet picture to his...

Under-screen fingerprint sensor unveiled

Under-screen fingerprint sensor unveiled..

28-Jun, 12:24

Qualcomm has announced a fingerprint ID sensor designed to be fitted...

Senior US diplomats driven to dissent, resign under President Trump

Senior US diplomats driven to dissent, resign under President Trump..

06-Jun, 10:37

The No. 2 official at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing has resigned his post...

Obamacare favorability nears record propelled by independents: poll

Obamacare favorability nears record propelled by independents: poll..

24-Feb, 03:04

A new poll gauging the public's feelings on the ongoing battle over...

What's next for refugees who want to come to the US

What's next for refugees who want to come to the US..

06-Mar, 16:59

Donald Trump's new executive order on immigration and travel includes a...

Fox News sets a new late-afternoon show

Fox News sets a new late-afternoon show..

28-Apr, 19:30

Fox News Channel is replacing its late-afternoon program "The Five" with...