Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s party has won the most seats in parliamentary elections, latest projections show. Victory hands Mr Rutte a mandate to form a new coalition government led by his centre-right liberal VVD party, with a fourth term as prime minister. His last government resigned in January over a child welfare fraud scandal.
While his party was set to win 36 out of 150 seats, another liberal party, the centre-left D66, was the other big winner of the night with 24 seats. The far-right PVV was projected to win 17 seats, while two other right-wing populist parties did well too. The Left-wing parties fared poorly, and the centre-right Christian CDA also lost seats. Turnout was high, at 82.6%.
“The voters of the Netherlands have given my party an overwhelming vote of confidence,” Mr Rutte told reporters in parliament.
He conceded that “not everything has gone well in the last 10 years” but said the main issue on the table was how to rebuild the country after the Covid-19 pandemic.