Home > News > World
Wednesday June 11, 2014 MYT 6:48:03 AM
Wednesday June 11, 2014 MYT 6:49:21 AM
by thomas escritt
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch far-right Eurosceptic Geert Wilders has decided to take up a seat in the European Parliament despite a ban on serving in two parliaments simultaneously, the Dutch electoral commission said on Tuesday.
Melle Bakker, secretary-general of the commission, told Dutch radio station BNR that Wilders had said he would claim his seat in the multinational assembly.
The European Parliament's rules of procedure forbid members from holding seats in their national parliament and the European assembly concurrently.
Since Dutch rules do not prohibit such double mandates, the electoral commission is powerless to prevent Wilders from taking his seat in the European Parliament while keeping the one he already holds in the national parliament in The Hague.
His decision to take a seat in defiance of the ban opens up the possibility of a lengthy legal action at the end of which he would likely be thrown out of the multinational assembly.
Wilders, whose Freedom Party won four seats in European Parliamentary elections last month, said last week he would attempt to file a lawsuit at the European Court of Justice seeking a court ruling to overturn the regulation.
"Almost 300,000 voters have voted for me," Wilders said in a statement. "It would be too absurd for words if Brussels forbade me from representing my voters in the European Parliament."
Wilders was in 10th place on his party's list in the European elections. He had said he was not interested in taking a seat in the Brussels assembly.
But the number of personal preference votes he received makes him eligible for one of the four seats the party won.
His party, which wants to quit the European Union, has pledged to form an alliance with other far-right parties, including France's National Front, which topped the French vote in the European elections.
Wilders himself faces possible prosecution for discrimination in the Netherlands for anti-Moroccan comments before the election. Thousands of people filed complaints against him and prosecutors are considering a possible case.
Massive claims force EU to halt Russian fruit ban aid
U.N.'s Ban urges Assad to seek political solution to Syria crisis
U.N. chief urges nations to 'act decisively' on Islamic State
U.N. envoy visits Libya to back elected parliament
French PM urges more EU budget flexibility, weaker euro
Europe urges Georgia to avoid political 'revenge' in courts
Ireland to vote on removal of blasphemy law last used in 1855
Putin says 'foolish' sanctions will not hold back Russia
Karzai brother, others still owe millions to Kabul Bank - Afghan watchdog
Syria Kurds say American joins fight against Islamic State
Islamic State presses assault on Syrian border town, Kurds warn Turkey
Mostly business as usual in HK
Pepsi to launch naturally sweetened soda on Amazon, bypassing stores
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)