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1 Apr, 2021 13:28

Dutch caretaker PM Mark Rutte to face vote of no confidence as he attempts to form new govt after March election

Dutch caretaker PM Mark Rutte to face vote of no confidence as he attempts to form new govt after March election

Opposition parties have tabled a vote of no confidence against Rutte, just two weeks after the election, claiming the leader lied about a potential political appointment.

Rutte will face the vote later on Thursday, after lawmakers objected to his conduct. Opposition parties are furious with the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy leader, who told reporters he had not had any discussions concerning the appointment to his government of Christian Democratic Appeal politician, Pieter Omtzigt. 

It later emerged that Rutte had held these discussions after all, and he apologized on Thursday for the “very clumsy statement,” adding that he had been “rightly called out” by the media.

Despite the apology, there has been an angry backlash from the opposition. “Rutte has a big problem, as far as I’m concerned,” said Socialist Party leader Lilian Marijnissen. “It is inconceivable that the prime minister has been lying.” 

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“We already thought that Rutte cannot be a credible leader of this country, and if you keep the country in its grip for another week by telling lies, and actually have to come back to it today, then you are certainly no longer credible,” claimed Denk party boss Farid Azarkan. 

In the March 17 election, Rutte’s party came out on top, with 35 out of 150 seats and a mandate to attempt to form a government. The veteran leader has been prime minister since 2010 and head of his party since 2006.

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