Europe

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte survives no-confidence vote despite scandal

AMSTERDAM (BLOOMBERG) – Prime Minister Mark Rutte won a no-confidence vote in Dutch Parliament on Friday (April 2), surviving a scandal that threatened to derail efforts to form a new government.

The vote was called over allegations that Mr Rutte lied about trying to sideline a political rival. Mr Rutte is now expected to continue efforts to form his fourth government after having decisively won a March 17 election.

Mr Rutte’s credibility, however, took a serious blow in the debate where he was accused of lying and backroom dealing to outmanoeuvre a lawmaker who helped unearth a childcare subsidy scandal. The issue eventually brought down the government in January.

Last week, Mr Rutte denied that he discussed moving Christian Democratic lawmaker Pieter Omtzigt, who brought the scandal to light, to a new post. However, it was revealed in notes made public on Thursday that Mr Rutte, a member of the Liberal party, did in fact bring up the idea of trying to disarm Mr Omtzigt with a government post.

Mr Rutte, 54, is one of the longest serving premiers in Dutch history and just secured a fourth term in office. Leading one of the smallest countries in the European Union, Mr Rutte punches above his weight and has a record of being a political survivor.

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