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Voting begins in the Dutch election affected by the coronavirus

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) –

Polling stations opened across the Netherlands in Monday’s general election, which lasted three days, allowing people to vote safely during a coronavirus outbreak.

The COVID-19 crisis was the predominant topic of the propaganda. Opposition parties have stated they will not run in the by-elections, but will discuss how they can improve the economy once the virus recedes.

Voting began Monday, exactly one year after the first blockade of the Dutch coronavirus began, և the country is in another tight blockade, persistently against the backdrop of contagious numbers. More than 16,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the Netherlands.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberal Democracy Party, or VVD, led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, is expected to win a majority of seats in the 150-seat lower house of parliament.

This will make Ruth, 54, the first in a series of talks to form a new governing coalition. If he succeeds, he could become the longest-serving leader in the Netherlands.

The first two days of voting are for vulnerable groups to vote. People over 70 also have the right to vote by mail.

The campaign will continue until Tuesday, ending only on the official election day, Wednesday.

In Amsterdam, voters were able to cast their ballots at places such as the car park area, which was even the preferred mode of public transport for bicycles.

A record 37 parties are running in the election. The formation of the next ruling coalition will begin on Wednesday evening, after the counting of votes.

Christian Democrat leader Wopke Hoekstra said on Sunday that he was in favor of repeating the last four-party coalition led by Rutte’s VVD, which included the centrist D66 party and the Christian Un party.

The second largest party in the country is the Freedom Party, led by immigrant lawmaker Geert Wilders. Polls suggest the party will retain that position, but Wilders is unlikely to be invited to join any coalition because of its outspoken anti-Islamic policies.

Polls predict that at least two new parties could enter parliament with a small number of seats: the right-wing populist JA21 and the pro-European Volt party.

Rutte’s government has been in power since January, when he resigned over a tax scandal that sought to eradicate family fraud by owing thousands of people debts.

Despite the scandal, the popularity of the prime minister, who has grown since dealing with the coronavirus epidemic last year, remains high, although he has slipped a bit as the election approaches.

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