Prime Minister Mark Rutte survives a vote of no confidence
Two weeks after his election victory, the Dutchman barely survived a vote of confidence in parliament. He is accused of lying in the coalition talks.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte barely survived a vote of confidence in parliament. After a long and turbulent debate over controversial statements by Rutte in the coalition talks, the opposition ultimately lacked a majority for a vote of no confidence on Friday night in The Hague. Rutte had previously asked the MPs for forgiveness. The parliament, however, expressed its deep disapproval for the behavior of the head of government with a large majority. Its credibility has been seriously damaged.
A good two weeks after the parliamentary election won, Rutte was in great distress. He had misinformed parliament and, during the coalition talks, had given the impression that he wanted to get rid of an uncomfortable critic, MP Pieter Omtzigt. Several opposition parties had asked the vote of confidence. The right-wing populist Geert Wilders called for new elections.
After a session that lasted more than 13 hours, the 54-year-old asked parliament and MP Omtzigt for forgiveness. “Where trust has been violated, I will work hard to restore it,” said Rutte. He announced that he wanted to remain Prime Minister. He’s ruled the country for ten years.