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Dutch PM Rutte scores victory in elections
09:35, 16 March 2017
Dutch PM Rutte scores victory in elections

Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte left far-right Geert Wilders behind

09:35, 16 March 2017

anp.nl

Dutch centre-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte scored a resounding victory over far right “Netherlands’ Trump” Geert Wilders in an election on Wednesday. This was reported by Swissinfo.

“Tonight the Netherlands, after Brexit and the American elections, said ‘stop’ to the wrong kind of populism,” a jubilant Mark Rutte told his supporters in The Hague.

Rutte received congratulatory messages from European leaders and spoke with some by telephone. The euro gained as the results pointed to a clear Rutte victory.

Related: Turkey closes airspace for Netherlands’ diplomatic planes

Even outside of government, his party's influence on Dutch politics had been enormous, he added. Wilders said he did not understand Mr Rutte’s comment that Dutch voters had said no to the “wrong kind of populists”.

Earlier it was reported that Parliamentary elections kicked off in Netherlands on Wednesday. The electoral race has been the tightest in the country's recent history, marred by political turmoil and rising nationalist sentiment.

Related: Merkel supports Netherlands in conflict with Turkey

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