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MPs debate chaotic start to coalition talks after demanding all notes are made public


MPs debate chaotic start to coalition talks after demanding all notes are made public
Mark Rutte (VVD) and Pieter Omtzigt (CDA) in parliament on Wednesday. Photo: Bart Maat ANP
MPs will on Thursday debate the chaotic start to the coalition formation process following their demand on Wednesday that all documents relating to the negotiations so far are made public.
The debate had been due to take place on Wednesday but was delayed by a day to ensure MPs are given all the notes taken by the coalition scouts about talks with party leaders to date.
The formation process was halted last week after one of the two scouts, home affairs minister Kajsa Ollongren, was diagnosed with coronavirus and left the parliamentary complex with a pile of briefing notes visible to waiting photographers.

Prime minister denies lying but won't reveal who warned him about Omtzigt comment


Mark Rutte during the debate. Photo: Robin Utrecht ANP/HH
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte was fighting for his political life on Thursday afternoon after it emerged that he had mentioned the possibility of another job for a highly critical CDA MP during cabinet formation talks.
Thursday’s parliamentary debate on the coalition talks debacle started and then were suspended after it emerged Rutte had discussed the position of Christian Democrat Pieter Omtzigt with officials after all.
Rutte said earlier that he was not responsible for suggesting that Omtzigt, a staunch government critic, could be given a job elsewhere when talking to the two scouts appointed by parliament to lead the cabinet negotiations.

Right-wing Rutte government wins re-election in Netherlands

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Right-wing Rutte government wins re-election in Netherlands
Incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte is projected to have won the March 17 Dutch elections and is set to lead a fourth coalition government after a decade in power in the Netherlands. It was a widely expected victory by default, under conditions where none of the established parties opposed Rutte’s policies of austerity and “herd immunity” on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Official election results are to be finalised and announced on March 26. However, exit polls show Rutte’s right-wing People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) won 22 percent of the vote and 36 seats, three more than in 2017, in the 150-seat Tweede Kamer. This slight increase was mainly due to first-time voters and a shift in votes away from the VVD’s own former coalition partner, the conservative Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), and the 50Plus retirees party.

Election watch: Segers warns against 'bitter' divisions as talks continue

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D66 leader Sigrid Kaag (left) and Gert-Jan Segers of the CU. Photo: ANP/HH/Peter Hilz
The nine smallest parties in the new parliament will set out their preferences for the new government coalition on the second day of exploratory talks.
On Monday it was the turn of the biggest parties, headed by the VVD and D66, who are expected to form the base of the next coalition. They have both been assigned a scout (‘verkenner’) to canvas the views of all party leaders and report back to parliament.
Prime minister Mark Rutte said the Christian Democrats (CDA) would be his first choice, but its leader, finance minister, Wopke Hoekstra said it was ‘not attractive to join a liberal engine block’.

The Netherlands shifts right, again - International Viewpoint - online socialist magazine


The Dutch election of mid-March were a shift to the right. A second conclusion: this fits into a longer pattern. The result is not very surprising, but it is disturbing. The right has become even more rightwing and a large part of the left vote has been swallowed up by supposedly progressive liberals.
That the pro-business, secular government party VVD (the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) could once again become the largest party is not just the individual merit of its leader, prime-minister Mark Rutte. Their result of 35 out of 150 seats (a gain of two) mainly shows how effectively Rutte represents their combination of neo-liberal economics and Dutch chest-beating. In a world that is adrift, the VVD and Rutte present “The Netherlands. Ltd” as a safe investment. At least, as long as it is run by people who know the tricks of the trade. Thus, the VVD profits from both the increasing nationalism and from fear of change in an uncertain time.

The new government has its work cut out, says election winner Mark Rutte


The new government has its work cut out, says election winner Mark Rutte
Prime minister Mark Rutte talks to reporters after his victory. Photo: Robin Utrecht ANP
The new cabinet has its work cut out to get the Netherlands through the coronavirus crisis and then to restart the economy, VVD leader Mark Rutte said after his party emerged as the biggest in the general election.
Despite the coronavirus crisis, turnout is expected to be slightly up on 2017, at almost 83%.
The high turnout, and size of the ballot papers – with 37 parties – meant that results were slow to come through. By midnight, just a handful of results had been finalised, with the Wadden Sea island of Schiermonnikoog first to declare.

Dutch Prime Minister Takes Home 4th Election Win

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The center-right party leader’s victory was expected, but added seats for the center-left party caused a stir in otherwise bad turnout for leftist candidates.
A newspaper stand in the Netherlands shows national election results on Thursday, March 18. (Courthouse News photo/Molly Quell)
THE HAGUE (CN) — The party of center-right leader Mark Rutte claimed victory late Wednesday evening, after three days of voting while the Netherlands weathers still-rising cases of Covid-19. 
Rutte’s VVD, short for the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, took home 22% of the vote, which equates to 35 seats in the country’s 150-seat parliament. But the biggest surprise of the evening was a surge in support for the center-left D66 party, which jumped five seats, for a total of 24.

'Dutchification': Guide To Election Winners And Losers

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'Dutchification': Guide To Election Winners And Losers
By
Antoine MOUTEAU, Danny KEMP
on March 19 2021 6:04 AM
While Dutch PM Mark Rutte's liberal VVD party appears to have won national elections, the vote also brought unprecedented "Dutchification" or fragmentation of parliament.
A record-equalling 17 parties is set to win seats in the lower house, according to projections, with some significant shifts and some new faces entering the mix.
Mark Rutte's VVD party won the legislative elections but there will be a slew of other parties in the new parliament
 POOL / PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW
The big surprise of Wednesday's election was the success of the pro-EU, centre-left D66, which is now in pole position for a key role in Rutte's next cabinet.

'Dutchification': guide to election winners and losers


'Dutchification': guide to election winners and losers
Issued on:
18/03/2021 - 20:04
Mark Rutte's VVD party won the legislative elections but there will be a slew of other parties in the new parliament PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW POOL/AFP
4 min
The Hague (AFP)
While Dutch PM Mark Rutte's liberal VVD party appears to have won national elections, the vote also brought unprecedented "Dutchification" or fragmentation of parliament.
A record-equalling 17 parties is set to win seats in the lower house, according to projections, with some significant shifts and some new faces entering the mix.
- Route D66 -
The big surprise of Wednesday's election was the success of the pro-EU, centre-left D66, which is now in pole position for a key role in Rutte's next cabinet.

Dutch vote as Covid crisis looms large


news
Dutch vote as Covid crisis looms large
© Getty Images
Thirty-seven parties are standing in the Dutch election
His government collapsed over a racial profiling scandal in the tax office, his country was the last in Europe to roll-out its vaccination programme, and with an average of 5,000 new daily infections, the Netherlands remains under its strictest lockdown to date.
And yet, Mark Rutte, the prime minister who presided over all of this, is odds on for a fourth term in an election involving 37 different political parties.
Why this election matters
With coronavirus restrictions in place, polls opened for vulnerable voters on 15 March, and everyone else votes on Wednesday in what will be the first "Covid election" in the EU this year.

Dutch head to polls as Covid crisis looms large

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BBC News
By Anna Holligan
image captionThirty-seven parties are standing in the Dutch election
His government collapsed over a racial profiling scandal in the tax office, his country was the last in Europe to roll-out its vaccination programme, and with an average of 5,000 new daily infections, the Netherlands remains under its strictest lockdown to date.
And yet, Mark Rutte, the prime minister who presided over all of this, is odds on for a fourth term in an election involving 37 different political parties.
Why this election matters
With coronavirus restrictions in place, polls opened for vulnerable voters on 15 March, and everyone else votes on Wednesday in what will be the first "Covid election" in the EU this year.

Thousands protest against government on eve of Dutch election

Riot officers were deployed to break the protests up after hundreds of people defied repeated calls to go home.

Thousands protest against gov't on eve of Dutch election

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Dutch police used a water cannon and officers on horseback galloped across a park in The Hague on Sunday to break up a protest against the government and its tough coronavirus lockdown on the eve of three days of voting in the general election.

Dutch police break up anti-govt protest on eve of election

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch police used a water cannon and officers on...

Dutch police break up anti-government protest on eve of election

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The demonstrations reflect a growing impatience among a small section of society at the COVID-19 lockdown that has seen businesses including bars, restaurants and museums shut down since mid-October

Thousands protest against government on eve of Dutch election

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An unknown number of protesters were arrested as police broke up the demonstration.

Far-right PVV wants to take constitutional rights from Muslims


Far-right PVV wants to take constitutional rights from Muslims
THE HAGUE - The main focus of the election program for Geert Wilders' PVV is still to close mosques and Islamic schools, ban the Koran, and ban Dutch people with dual nationality from voting or acting as a politician in the Netherlands, NU.nl reports.
The newspaper said it tried to get an interview with Wilders, like it did with the left-wing leaders Jesse Klaver, Lilianne Ploumen and Lilian Marijnissen earlier this week, but a suitable date could not be found. The newspaper therefore analyzed the PVV election program and Wilders' main campaign promises.

Election interview: 'You can't build windmills with racists and anti-Semites'


Photo: ANP/Rob Engelaar
Ahead of the March general election, DutchNews.nl is interviewing a number of prominent MPs about their party’s policies. Today, Gordon Darroch talks to D66 MP Jan Patternotte.
The election campaign has been criticised for lacking drama, but one issue that still polarises views is dual nationality.
At one extreme the anti-immigration nationalist PVV, led by Geert Wilders, wants to strip dual nationals of the right to vote in national elections and recently said parliamentary chairman, Khadija Arib, should be removed because her Moroccan citizenship, which she cannot revoke, creates ‘the appearance of having a different loyalty’.

DutchNews podcast – The It's All Happening in Drenthe Edition – Week 9


Sex workers protesting against the lockdown in The Hague. Photo: ANP/Sem van der Wal
A mixed week for boutique entrepreneurs as hairdressers and beauticians went back to work while cafe owners and sex workers protested against the lockdown. The first leaders’ debate featured a painful confrontation for Mark Rutte, a pointed exchange between Sigrid Kaag and Geert Wilders, and an own goal by Jesse Klaver. We explain why cut-out penguins popped up in Drenthe, how researchers read a 300-year-old letter without opening it and why Rutte raised hackles in Groningen again. And with less than two weeks to go, we give you a bluffer’s guide to the election so you can dazzle your friends with your knowledge of kiesdelers and informateurs.

Nuclear power is back on the political agenda, with a right-left divide


Borssele nuclear power plant in Zeeland. Photo: Depositphotos.com
Nuclear power is back on the political agenda in the Netherlands, with both politicians and some scientists suggesting it would help meet climate targets.
The VVD has said it is ruling out nothing in the battle to combat climate change, while the CDA has said nuclear power should be considered a serious option. D66 too has not ruled out expanding nuclear capacity, if it can be done in a sustainable, safe and affordable way.
Left wing parties, however, are opposed, with most calling for the closure of the Netherlands only nuclear power station and a moratorium on further expansion.

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