The Dutch acting prime minister, Mark Rutte, on Friday passed a vote of no confidence presented against him by the opposition. His political opponents accused him of having “lied” during the negotiations to form a new government coalition, after obtaining the majority of the votes in the elections on March 17. After hours of plenary session, Parliament overthrew the motion initiated by the far-right Geert Wilders.
If on March 17, after the general elections in the Netherlands, the liberal Mark Rutte had them all with him to repeat as prime minister, now his political future is much more uncertain. During the early hours of this Friday, the acting prime minister faced a motion of censure presented by the opposition for having “lied” during the negotiations to form a government. And despite having overcome it, it has lost the confidence of much of the Parliament in The Hague.
After Rutte was the first in the last elections in March, the stage of negotiations began to form a government coalition. This is an internal party process where the prime minister is not supposed to meddle, but something went wrong. Rutte mentioned the name of the Christian Democratic deputy Pieter Omtzigt as a possible minister. When it was leaked, the acting leader denied the information, although he was eventually forced to admit that “he had not told the whole truth.”
The news unleashed a scandal around the figure of the politician and apologizing did little to regain the confidence of the hemicycle. His conduct cost him two motions. The first, a vote of no confidence, was presented by his main opponent, the far-right Geert Wilders, who did not win by a margin of three votes. But that, if it had been the opposite, it would have meant the end of the liberal’s political career, both at the head of the interim Executive and at the head of his own VVD party.
For Wilders, who got 72 votes in favor of his motion, the result was a success. “72 votes in favor of my motion of no confidence against Rutte. The entire opposition, including the SGP, voted in favor, almost the majority. A blow to Rutte, who says that he still says he is staying, but his political end is near! “said the far-right politician through social networks.
Rutte did not have the same luck with the second request of the deputies of the Parliament, a motion of disapproval presented by his three partners of the outgoing Dutch government – the progressives (D66), the Christian Democratic Call (CDA) and the Christian Union. This won the majority of the chamber with the support of the opposition, a blow to the reputation of the politician.
However, Rutte has already announced that he does not intend to resign from his position, but rather that he will seek to restore “the damaged trust” and stressed that “he continues to believe that it is credible”, both to participate in future negotiations and to form a new coalition for the Executive in the Netherlands.
“Confidence is something you have to earn every day,” Rutte said. In addition, he defended that he had not lied, but that “he had badly remembered the facts.” Something that many members of the opposition call a lie.
“My trust in him is badly damaged and it’s his fault. If I were in his place, I would go, ”said left-wing liberal leader Sigrid Kaag, one of the main precursors to the motion of disapproval.
The deputy who sparked the controversy, Pieter Omtzigt, was one of the voices most critical of the Government and the Tax Agency, which in recent decades baselessly accused tens of thousands of families of tax fraud, leading many to bankruptcy . This scandal forced Rutte to submit the resignation en bloc of his entire Executive in mid-January, two months before the general elections in which he managed to win again on March 17, after a decade in power and occupying for the fourth once the post of prime minister.
However, this new controversy threatens to hinder the government coalition process, something already slow in itself – it can take up to months of talks – in the Netherlands.
With EFE and local media