THE HAGUE, June 9 (Xinhua)-- The center-right liberal VVD party led by Mark Rutte won the Dutch general election on Wednesday for the first time since it was founded in 1948.
According to preliminary results released by local TV NOS early in the morning, VVD won 31 out of the total 150 parliamentary seats, becoming the biggest party in the second Chamber of the States-General. It was followed by the Labour Party (PvdA) which grabbed 30 seats.
"Voters have shown that they agree with our vision to bring the Dutch economy back to normal," Rutte, 43, told supporters at a celebration event for his VVD Party.
"We have fullfilled our due responsibility," said Job Cohen, leader of the Labour Party(PvdA).
According to exit polls released immediately after the election, PvdA could have won 31 seats. But six hours later, preliminary results shows it is one seat behind its VVD opponent.
The Party for Freedom (PVV) led by Geert Wilders came in third with 24 seats, raising its hope to be a partner of the new coalition government.
The Christian Democratic Action (CDA) party of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende finished fourth, seeing the number of its parliamentary seats shrinking from 41 to 21.
"This is a very, very disappointing result, but the voters have spoken. The result is clear!" said Balkenende when addressing supporters at the CDA headquarters in The Hague.
With no party winning a clear majority, the prospect for how to form a new coalition government remains uncertain.