THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is demanding a political reshuffle just two weeks after a major election victory as new credibility issues hamper the process of forming a new coalition government.
Ruthen, who has been in power for more than a decade as he seeks to form his fourth governing coalition, came to parliament early in the morning after a marathon debate in which he insisted he could not remember talking about a Christian Democrat lawmaker. Last week, Rutte publicly denied the legislature’s discussion at all.
Opposition lawmakers accused the prime minister of lying and undermining public confidence in the country’s politicians.
Ruth denies the lie and promises to work hard to restore trust. He intends to continue seeking a new coalition, but that could be difficult after the two main parties he seeks to include in a sentencing motion against him, a majority in the lower house of the 150-seat parliament. ,
“I received the message, I accepted it with all my heart,” said Ruthen, sometimes referred to as the Teflon Prime Minister for his ability to avoid scandals.
It was a shock for Ruth. It came just two weeks after his Conservative party won a majority in parliament, putting him in the running to become the country’s longest-serving prime minister if he can form a new coalition.
If he wants to succeed, he must first repair the bridges.
“My confidence in Mr Rutte has been seriously undermined today,” Sigrid Kaag, leader of the centrist D66 party, told parliament early Friday morning. “The distance between him and me is greater. I’m sorry about that. “
D66 finished second in the election and is currently a member of Rutte’s coalition.
The country’s Christian Democratic Party, which was a coalition partner in favor of Rutte, co-chaired the sentencing motion, but missed the opportunity to work together.
“Trust can be restored,” said Wopke Hoekstra, a Christian Democrat leader.
Lawmakers are now expected to appoint a new official coalition to resume talks, which are expected to take months.
The coalition crisis comes amid rising coronavirus infections despite months of blockades. More than 16,700 people have been reported to have died of COVID-19 in the country, and the Rutte government has been harshly criticized for slowing the vaccination campaign.
Christian Democrat lawmaker Pieter Omzigt, who has been a thorn in Rutte’s side recently for his critical questions over the scandals surrounding the prime minister in recent years, plays a key role in the inflation.
Lawmakers accused Rutte of backing Omzigt in the initial coalition after one of the two negotiating officials posed for a photo with a note, including a legible line.
After taking the note, Rutte told reporters that he had not discussed Omzigt in the coalition talks. But he did so, according to civil servants’ notes, which were released ahead of Thursday’s debate.
Rutte said during the debate that he did not remember that part of the discussion, he had answered the journalists’ questions “with a good conscience”.
“I am not lying. “I’m telling the truth,” Ruth said.
Rutte apologized to Omzigt and promised. “Where trust has been broken … I will work hard to restore it.”
Omzigt was not present at the debate. He is on leave, citing exhaustion.
Kaag said he had seen a “pattern of forgetfulness, amnesia” on Rutte during his ten-year tenure.
“How can you, in the midst of the biggest crisis in the Netherlands, restore trust that has been damaged again?” Kag asked.