The chances of forming a new government have taken a heavy blow after parliament accused him of not telling the truth about cabinet formation.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s chances of forming a new government were seriously affected on Friday, as parliament passed a formal motion of disapproval, saying he had not told the truth about remarks made during the talks on government formation.
However, lawmakers narrowly failed to pass a no-confidence motion that would have forced Rutte to resign.
“Parliament gave me a serious message and I will do my best to regain confidence,” Rutte told reporters after the debate. It was not clear when and in what form government formation talks would resume.
“It was a very serious matter, for which I apologized,” said Rutte.
The crisis came on Thursday after documents showed that during negotiations Rutte discussed a possible new post for a prominent member of parliament who had criticized his former cabinet. Rutte had previously said he had not.
“The only thing I can do here is say from the bottom of my heart, my toes, say what happened, what went right, what went wrong, that I never have lied, “Rutte told parliament.
Rutte, 54, a conservative in power for more than 10 years, highlighted his record and said he hoped to continue leading the country.
Discussions on forming a new government were abruptly suspended on March 25 when a negotiator, rushing out of parliament after learning she had tested positive for coronavirus, unwittingly revealed a sensitive document to a photographer Press.
The document showed that negotiators were discussing a position “elsewhere” for People’s MP Pieter Omtzigt, a prominent critic of Rutte’s previous cabinet, although Omtzigt’s Christian Democrats are part of the ruling coalition. The cryptic remark has been interpreted to imply outside parliament or outside the Netherlands.
‘Lied to the whole country’
Rutte told reporters on March 25 that he was not the only one to mention Omtzigt’s position.
In parliament on Thursday, Rutte told skeptical lawmakers he knew he had mentioned a possible position in Omtzigt’s cabinet in a private conversation, but forgot he had mentioned it in discussions as well. official on the Cabinet.
That, he said, meant he technically hadn’t said anything wrong.
Opposition far-right lawmaker Geert Wilders, who introduced the no-confidence motion, said Rutte had “lied to the whole country.”
“Look for a job elsewhere yourself,” Wilders said. “We cannot go any further with this PM.”
Looks like tonight marked the start of the end of the Rutte era despite surviving as interim prime minister. His coalition partners, who are also required for an upcoming Rutte government, voted for a motion of disapproval against him. Hard to see them working with him again after that https://t.co/neqrmYxWMa
– Pepijn Bergsen (@pbergsen) April 2, 2021
Omtzigt, who was sworn in as an MP on Wednesday, said the implication that he should be impeached was “an affront to the Dutch voter”.
He demanded full transparency on how his name appeared on the document.
Rutte’s conservative VVD party convincingly won last month’s national elections, even though his government resigned in January following a scandal in which thousands of families were unfairly accused of fraudulent childcare allowances. ‘children for years, often on the basis of their ethnicity.
Omtzigt had constantly asked questions about it until it became fully public.