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PM Rutte sees off anti-EU Wilders challenge

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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's party has won the most seats in parliamentary elections, exit polls say.

Axar.az reports that his centre-right VVD Party won 31 out of 150 seats, polls suggest. His party came far ahead of the next three parties, including Geert Wilders' anti-immigration Freedom Party (PVV), the Christian Democrats and the D66 Party, which each got 19 seats.

Mr Wilders' party had been leading in opinion polls but support for the party appeared to slip in recent days.
Voter participation in the general election was high - with an estimated turnout of at least 81%.
Analysts say a high turnout may have benefited pro-EU and liberal parties.

"Today was a celebration of democracy," Mr Rutte said, adding that the Netherlands had said no to the "wrong kind of populism".
Although the VVD had lost several seats since the last election, many had expected the party to lose much more ground to the Freedom Party.

Date
2017.03.16 / 09:00
Author
Axar.az
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