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Elections in the Netherlands: Who can replace Rutte?

Elections in the Netherlands: Who can replace Rutte? Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Photo: Getty Images)

Parliamentary elections started today, November 22, in the Netherlands. Citizens will choose who will replace Mark Rutte after 13 years as prime minister, according to NOS and Nieuwsblad.

Polling stations in the Netherlands opened at 7:30 am local time and will operate until 9:00 pm. Then, the state media NOS will publish the first exit poll.

These elections are crucial as the Netherlands will have a new prime minister for the first time since 2010. Mark Rutte held this position.

Current leadership

According to recent polls, the leadership is divided between the right-liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), led by Rutte for many years, and the "Left-Greens" and Labour coalition (GroenLinks-PvdA) led by former Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans. The far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) led by Geert Wilders is also among the leaders.

It is worth noting that there is no final and clear leader in the electoral race. The media emphasizes that seven out of ten Dutch citizens have not decided whom to vote for.

This means that coalition negotiations are likely to take place in the Netherlands.

Rutte may lead NATO

Recall that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is planning to step down. In late October, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he would be interested in replacing Stoltenberg as NATO Secretary-General.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Krišjānis Kariņš have also expressed interest in the position of NATO Secretary-General.

According to Bloomberg, Rutte is the clear leader among the contenders for the position of NATO Secretary-General.