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Dutch Deputy PM quits

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Dutch Deputy PM quits


Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Thom de Graaf has resigned, prompting speculation about possible early elections.

His departure, after his electoral reform bill was defeated in parliament, puts a strain on Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende’s government. The premier maintains that his centre-right coalition is not in danger and he is set to shed more light on the affair at a news conference later today after a weekly cabinet meeting. However, it is the last thing he needs in the current political climate. A recent opinion poll showed a swing towards left-wing opposition parties and away from the ruling coalition. The administration has faced protests from unions and students over public spending cutbacks.
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