Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (pictured) faced a no confidence vote in parliament on Monday (10 July) which could end his run as the longest serving government leader in Dutch history, three days after he abruptly handed in the resignation of his fourth administration.
Rutte’s coalition will stay on as caretaker government until a new administration is formed after the next elections, a process which in the fractured Dutch political landscape usually takes months.
However, opposition parties are looking to oust Rutte immediately, saying he lost trustworthiness through his handling of negotiations over stricter migration policies, which led to the collapse of government on Friday.
“Rutte has caused this government crisis, we need an outsider to step in, to avoid standstill and repair trust,” the leader of the opposition Labour party Attje Kuiken said on the Nieuwsuur TV program on Sunday night.
“In the interest of the country, he should step aside.”
Normally a no confidence vote wouldn’t threaten Rutte, as he could count on the support of his four-party majority government.
But coalition partners made it clear over the weekend they largely blamed him for the cabinet crisis, as he pressed for limits on family migration, even though he knew the measures went too far for junior partner Christian Union.
The leader of the liberal D66, the second-largest party after Rutte’s conservative VVD, said the prime minister had behaved “irresponsibly”, while the Christian Democrat CDA called him “reckless”.
Coalition partners have not made clear if they will support the no confidence vote during the debate, scheduled to start at 0815 GMT.
Rutte, 56, became prime minister in 2010 and is the longest serving government leader in the EU after Hungary’s Viktor Orban. He had earlier expressed interest in seeking a fifth term in office at the next elections in November.
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