Mark Rutte (born 14 February 1967) is a Dutch politician who has been the Prime Minister of the Netherlands since 14 October 2010 and the Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie - VVD) since 31 May 2006. He previously served as Undersecretary for Social Affairs and Employment from 22 July 2002 to 17 June 2004, and Undersecretary for Education, Culture and Science from 17 June 2004 until 27 June 2006, when he was elected to succeed Jozias van Aartsen as the new VVD Leader.
At the 2006 general election, the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy under Rutte lost six seats and he became opposition leader. At the following general election in 2010, the VVD won the highest number of votes cast, resulting in their occupying 31 of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives. After a long formation period, Rutte became Prime Minister and formed a Cabinet. When he was sworn in on 14 October 2010, he became the first liberal Prime Minister of the Netherlands in 92 years. He offered his government's resignation on 23 April 2012 after an impasse in talks on an austerity budget, prompting a general election in which the VVD won its highest number of seats ever, which led to a coalition being form..
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