Mark Rutte, longest-serving Dutch PM, says to quit politics after elections

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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Monday he would quit politics after the fall of his coalition government, in a shock announcement ending the career of the Netherlands’ longest-serving leader.

Rutte, who has led four coalition governments since 2010, announced the fall of the four-party coalition on Friday due to a row over limits on numbers of asylum seekers.


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“Yesterday morning, I took the decision that I am no longer suited to be the new head of the list for the VVD (his center-right party). When the new government is sworn in after the elections, I will quit politics,” Rutte told parliament.

Rutte has said he is staying on in a caretaker capacity until elec-tions, which will not be until mid-November at the earliest.

But he faces a vote in parliament later on Monday that will try to topple him as caretaker premier.

Two left-wing opposition parties and the far-right party of anti-Islam leader Geert Wilders have filed a motion of no-confidence in Rutte.

To succeed, the vote needs the support of at least one of the four parties in Rutte’s coalition that fell on Friday, Dutch media said.

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