Mark Rutte, Netherlands Prime Minister, Says He Will Leave Politics


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Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Netherlands’s longest-serving prime minister, said on Monday that he would step aside as his party’s leader and would be leaving politics in the coming months after his ruling coalition collapsed last week.

Mr. Rutte came to power in 2010 and earned the name “Teflon Mark” for his ability to weather political storms, but the failure of the four parties in his coalition to come to an agreement on the country’s migration policies set the stage for elections in the fall.

The leader of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, Mr. Rutte, 56, remains in charge of a caretaker government.

“This isn’t entirely without emotion,” he told reporters, according to the broadcaster NOS. “But it feels good to pass the baton.”

Dutch politicians and leaders of other political parties had said it was time for a new prime minister.

Caroline van der Plas, the leader of the Farmer-Citizen Movement, a pro-farmer party that swept local elections in the Netherlands this year, said she wanted a new leader and welcomed the chance for voters to go to the polls this fall.

Attje Kuiken, the leader of the Labor Party, said on Twitter this weekend that “Mark Rutte is done governing.”


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