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Rutte, Wilders trade jibes in debate just before Netherlands vote

Clash showcases the two front-runners in election seen as bellwether for votes this year in France, Germany

Mr Rutte (left) and Mr Wilders (right) debating on Monday in Rotterdam, prior to the Dutch parliamentary elections. With a tight race and as many as two-thirds of the electorate undecided, the television debates and a diplomatic dispute between the Netherlands and Turkey could yet influence the outcome of the March 15 ballot.


DUTCH Prime Minister Mark Rutte and populist Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders questioned each other's credibility and integrity as they faced off on live national television for the first time in the country's election campaign, just 36 hours before the polls open.


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