Europe News

Dutch PM Rutte: Netherlands said no to 'the wrong kind of populism'

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the VVD Liberal party appears before his supporters in The Hague, Netherlands, March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said his VVD party was on course for victory in Dutch parliamentary elections on Wednesday in a result he declared represented a rejection of “the wrong kind of populism”.

“It appears that the VVD will be the biggest party in the Netherlands for the third time in a row,” a beaming Rutte told supporters at a post-election party in the Hague.

Rutte, who beat off a challenge from anti-Islam and anti-EU far-right firebrand Geert Wilders, said he had spoken to a number of European leaders already by telephone.

“It is also an evening in which the Netherlands after Brexit, after the American elections said stop to the wrong kind of populism,” he said.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, editing by G Crosse