Netherlands Prime Minister Rutte to Quit Politics after Government Collapse

July 10, 2023

Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands said Monday he would quit politics after his coalition government collapsed on Friday over disputes surrounding immigration. 

The Dutch four-party coalition government had been in power for 18 months, during which Rutte attempted to negotiate new measures to reduce the flow of migrants arriving in the Netherlands.

Sticking points that led to bitter infighting included caps on family reunification and creating a two-tier asylum process—a temporary class for people fleeing conflicts and a permanent class for people escaping persecution.

On Monday Rutte told the Dutch Parliament that he would not run for a fifth term in office and would leave politics following elections in November.

“This is a personal decision and is independent of developments over the last few weeks,” he said.

Rutte’s announcement came as Ministers of Parliament were expected to vote later on a no-confidence motion brought by the opposition in a bid to topple him.

Rutte has been the Netherlands’ Prime Minister since 2010. After addressing Parliament, he told Dutch media that he had “mixed feelings” about leaving politics.

“This is not entirely without emotion,” he said. “But it also feels good to pass the baton.”

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