Dutch election: Rutte hails blow to far-right populism

Mar 16, 2017, 7:31 AM EDT
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte
(Source:Evert-Jan Barten/flickr)

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte described the results of Wednesday’s general election as a blow to far-right populism after conservative party leader Geert Wilders managed to secure a distant second position in the polls. Addressing a crowd of jubilant supporters in The Hague, Rutte referred to Brexit and the American elections as he thanked the voters for defeating the “wrong kind of populism.”

A defiant Wilders refused to accept the mandate as a setback to his staunch anti-immigrant and anti-E.U. stance, claiming that his party, 12 seats short of ruling party’s tally, is “a part of the winners,” notes CNN.

France and Germany, the European countries set to hold general elections in next month and September respectively, applauded the result that brings a degree of reprieve for their leaders, who are up against apparently strong anti-immigrant sentiments, writes the BBC.