Pressure mounts on Dutch PM Rutte

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's chances of forming a new government suffered a major setback on Friday (April 2), after parliament passed a motion disapproving of his behavior and saying he had quote "not spoken the truth."

Lawmakers called for a new independent investigator to oversee preliminary formation talks after the March 17 elections in which Rutte's conservative VVD party took the most votes.

Rutte- who is acting as caretaker prime minister, survived a no-confidence vote and will be allowed to continue in that role as the pandemic continues.

The motion was filed by the D-66 and Christian Democrat parties, the most likely allies of the VVD Party in a future coalition.

The formation of the new government has been set back at least several weeks by the affair and it is no longer clear if Rutte will have the respect needed to lead a fourth Cabinet.

The crisis deepened Thursday after Rutte acknowledged having privately discussed what job should go to a prominent member of parliament who had been critical of his previous Cabinet.

Rutte had previously said he did not do so, but notes from a meeting emerged showing that he had.

Rutte told parliament on Thursday:

"I am speaking the truth. I made a mistake and my memory has failed me, but what I am saying now is true, I am not lying and it is up to the Netherlands, the parliament, everybody to have an opinion on this."