October 7, 2019 / 1:30 PM / a month ago

Dutch ruling coalition loses majority in parliament

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte waves during his meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the presidential palace in Bogor, Indonesia, October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government on Monday lost its majority in parliament when a previously dismissed member of Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s VVD party said he would keep his seat as an independent.

MP Wybren van Haga was dismissed by his party last month for failing to cut ties with his real estate company, which in 2018 was found to have breached rules on renting out properties.

Van Haga had subsequently not made it clear whether he would stay in parliament or return his seat to the VVD.

“I have decided to keep my seat”, he told Dutch TV program Een Vandaag on Monday.

Rutte’s four-party coalition now holds 75 seats in the 150-seat lower house, meaning it will have to find support from opposition parties for legislation to pass.

This has effectively already been the case since March, when the coalition lost its majority in the upper house, the Senate.

Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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