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Dutch Election Upended as Turkey Dispute Seen Aiding Wilders

  • Freedom Party may be energized just as polls showed it fading
  • Poll majority praise Prime Minister Rutte’s decisive actions
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Dutch Election Impact Seen on Turkey's Call for Sanctions

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The Dutch election was upended by a diplomatic standoff with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as a spiral of increasingly hostile rhetoric threatened to overshadow the final stretch of campaigning and influence voting.

With less than 48 hours to polling day in the first of Europe’s big elections this year, political analysts said the international incident centered on the Netherlands could benefit both Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberals and the anti-Islam Freedom Party of populist Geert Wilders. The upshot may be to re-energize Wilders’s campaign just as it appeared to be fading.