cloudyn.png
Saturday April 10th, 2021 7:23AM

Dutch coalition building must reboot after Rutte rebuke

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte needs a political reboot only two weeks after a major election victory because new questions about his trustworthiness are undermining the process of forming a new coalition government.

Rutte, who has been in power for more than a decade and is seeking to build his fourth governing coalition, narrowly survived a no-confidence motion in the early hours of the morning after a marathon debate in parliament in which he claimed to not remember talking about a critical Christian Democrat lawmaker. Rutte last week publicly denied discussing the lawmaker at all.

Opposition lawmakers accused prime minister of lying and of wrecking public trust in the country’s politicians.

Rutte denied lying and vowed to work hard to rebuild trust. He plans to continue looking to form a new coalition, but that could prove difficult after two of the key parties he would seek to enlist tabled a motion of censure against him that was supported by a large majority in the 150-seat lower house of parliament.

“I have gotten the message and taken it to heart,” said Rutte, who is sometimes called the Teflon premier for his ability to avoid scandals sticking to him.

It was a stunning fall from grace for Rutte, coming just over two weeks after his conservative party won the most seats in parliament in the election, putting him in line to become the country’s longest-serving prime minister if he can create a new coalition.

If he wants to achieve the feat, he will have to mend bridges first.

“My trust in Mr. Rutte has been seriously dented today,” Sigrid Kaag, leader of the centrist D66 party told Parliament in the early hours of Friday. “The distance between him and me is wider. I regret that.”

D66 finished second in the elections and is a current member of Rutte’s coalition.

The country’s Christian Democrats party, a favored coalition partner for Rutte, co-sponsored the censure motion, but left open the possibility of working together.

“It is crucial that we restore trust,” Christian Democrat leader Wopke Hoekstra said.

Lawmakers are now expected to install a new official to restart coalition talks, which are expected to take months.

The coalition crisis comes against a backdrop of rising numbers of coronavirus infections despite a lockdown that has lasted months. More than 16,700 people are confirmed to have died of COVID-19 in the country and Rutte’s government faced harsh criticism for the slow start of its vaccination campaign.

Central to the crisis is Christian Democrat lawmaker Pieter Omtzigt, who has long been a thorn in the side of Rutte with his critical questions about scandals that have dogged the prime minister in recent years.

Lawmakers accused Rutte of seeking to sideline Omtzigt in preliminary coalition talks after one of the two officials leading the talks was photographed carrying notes including the legible line: “Position Omtzigt, function elsewhere.”

After the note was photographed, Rutte told reporters he hadn't discussed Omtzigt in coalition talks. But he did, according to notes made by civil servants that were published before the debate that started Thursday.

Rutte said in the debate that he didn't remember that part of the discussion and had answered reporters’ questions “in good conscience.”

“I am not standing here lying. I am telling the truth,” Rutte said.

Rutte apologized to Omtzigt and pledged: “Where trust has been violated … I will work hard to restore it.”

Omtzigt wasn't present for the debate. He is taking time off, citing exhaustion.

Kaag said she had seen a “pattern of forgetfulness, amnesia” from Rutte over his more than a decade in office.

“How can you, in the greatest crisis that we face in the Netherlands, restore the trust that has again been damaged?” Kaag asked.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Dutch coalition building must reboot after Rutte rebuke
The process of forming a new Dutch governing coalition following last month’s general election has to start anew
7:01AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Greece accuses Turkey of escorting migrant smuggling boats
Greece is reporting a series of incidents with the Turkish coast guard in the narrow stretch of water between the eastern Greek island of Lesbos and the Turkish coast, at a time of generally testy relations between the two neighbors and NATO allies
6:47AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Train derails in eastern Taiwan, killing 48, injuring dozens
A train partially derailed in eastern Taiwan after colliding with an unmanned vehicle that had rolled down a hill
6:43AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Virus pandemic overshadows Bulgarian parliamentary election
After months of nationwide anti-government protests over corruption, stalled reforms and a stagnating economy in the EU’s poorest member state, Bulgarians are gearing up for a parliamentary election overshadowed by the deadly pandemic
4:37AM ( 2 hours ago )
Biden's 'Jobs Cabinet' to sell infrastructure as GOP resists
President Joe Biden is setting about convincing America it needs his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan
1:47AM ( 5 hours ago )
Immigrants with temporary status have grown deep roots in US
Immigrants with Temporary Protected Status are pinning their hopes on an immigration overhaul bill making its way through Congress
1:38AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Corporate criticism of GOP-led voting bills spreads to Texas
The ranks of big corporations now criticizing GOP efforts to restrict voting access are spreading to Texas
8:53PM ( 10 hours ago )
Justice Department working with tribes on missing persons
The Justice Department has finalized its first plan to help address the problem of missing and murdered Native people on one of the largest reservations in Montana
7:36PM ( 11 hours ago )
The Latest: Vermont expects to expand vaccine eligibility
The state of Vermont is expecting to expand eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to out-of-state college students and second homeowners on April 30 if there is an adequate supply of vaccines
6:47PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Former California cop leads GOP dream of Newsom recall
The man behind the effort to remove California Gov. Gavin Newsom from office is a retired county sheriff's sergeant who grew frustrated in 2019 with the governor's policies
1:12PM ( 17 hours ago )
Dutch PM Rutte fights for his political life in tough debate
Caretaker Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is fighting for his political life in a bitter parliamentary debate about the country’s derailed process of forming a new ruling coalition
11:47AM ( 19 hours ago )
Imprisoned Palestinian leader's entry shakes up planned vote
A popular Palestinian uprising leader imprisoned by Israel has submitted an independent list of candidates to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections
1:34AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections
Former SC governor, congressman Sanford joins lobbying firm
Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor, congressman and one-time presidential candidate, is going to work for a lobbying firm
5:21AM ( 3 days ago )
Republican announces run for Murkowski’s Alaska Senate seat
An early Republican candidate has announced plans to seek the Alaska U.S. Senate seat that has been held since 2002 by Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski
1:31PM ( 3 days ago )
Former Trump adviser takes prominent role in voting battle
A GOP lawyer who advised former President Donald Trump on his campaign to overturn the 2020 election results is now playing a central role coordinating the Republican effort to tighten voting laws around the country
3:26PM ( 4 days ago )
General Election News
Myanmar cuts wireless internet service amid coup protests
Myanmar’s wireless broadband internet services have been shut down by order of the military, as protesters continue to defy the junta
4:27AM ( 2 hours ago )
Train crashes in eastern Taiwan, killing 36, injuring dozens
At least 36 people have died in Taiwan when a vehicle rolled down a hill and smashed into a passing train, partially derailing it outside a rail tunnel
3:57AM ( 3 hours ago )
Christians mark Good Friday as holy sites gradually reopen
Christians in the Holy Land are marking Good Friday this year amid signs the coronavirus crisis is winding down
3:50AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
World shares higher after S&P 500 tops 4,000 points
World shares and U.S. futures are higher after a broad rally pushed the S&P 500 past 4,000 points for the first time
4:59AM ( 2 hours ago )
Asian shares higher after S&P 500 tops 4,000 points
Asian shares are higher after a broad rally pushed the S&P 500 past 4,000 points for the first time
3:28AM ( 3 hours ago )
Anticipation is building for a boom in US hiring this year
With hopes rising for a powerful rebound in hiring this year, Friday’s jobs report for March will provide crucial insight into whether those rosy expectations may prove true
12:09AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business
Greece accuses Turkey of escorting migrant smuggling boats
Greece is reporting a series of incidents with the Turkish coast guard in the narrow stretch of water between the eastern Greek island of Lesbos and the Turkish coast, at a time of generally testy relations between the two neighbors and NATO allies
6:47AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Train derails in eastern Taiwan, killing 48, injuring dozens
A train partially derailed in eastern Taiwan after colliding with an unmanned vehicle that had rolled down a hill
6:43AM ( 24 minutes ago )
The Latest: Britain adds 4 more countries to travel ban list
The British government is adding Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines to its travel ban list amid concerns over new variants of the coronavirus
6:18AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Christians mark Good Friday amid lingering virus woes
Christians in the Holy Land are marking Good Friday this year amid signs the coronavirus crisis is winding down
6:12AM ( 55 minutes ago )
The Latest: Filipinos mark Good Friday with deserted streets
Filipinos are marking Good Friday, one of the most solemn holidays in Asia’s largest Catholic nation, with deserted streets and churches following a strict lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus
5:54AM ( 1 hour ago )