Mark Rutte the ultimate choice

Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s comfortable victory over far-right firebrand Geert Wilders was officially confirmed by the Dutch Electoral Council on Tuesday.

Rutte’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, the VVD, won 33 seats in the national parliament out of a total of 150.

Dutch Electoral Council has announced the official results of the parliamentary elections, which turned out to be very close to the preliminary polling predictions and confirmed the victory of the Netherlands’ ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).

The VVD, the party of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, secured an electoral victory by gaining 33 seats in the Dutch parliament’s lower house out of 150 and becoming the largest parliamentary faction, according to the data presented by the Dutch Electoral Council.

Wilders’ Freedom Party, the PVV, won 20 seats, one more than the mainstream Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and Democrats 66 (D66) parties  Wilder’s calling for Islamic schools to be closed and the Quran and burqa to be banned. PVDA (Labor) party, which had previously been in government with Rutte’s VVD, plunged from 38 seats to nine.

Dutch Electoral Council, the turnout in these parliamentary elections, which were held on March 15 amid an escalating spat with Turkey, was 81.9 percent – the highest since 1986. A total of 13 parties are represented in the parliament – the highest number since 1972.

Wilders conceded defeat to Rutte late on March 15, soon after the preliminary voting results were announced, and said he would like to be invited to coalition negotiations. The formal negotiations about a government coalition are expected to start after the new parliament convenes on March 23.

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