Dutch talks on forming coalition government still deadlocked

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Talks to form a new ruling coalition remain deadlocked nearly 100 days after Dutch national elections. The conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy led by three-term Prime Minister Mark Rutte won the most seats in the three-day election that ended March 17. The other big winner was the centrist D66 party led by caretaker Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag. At least four parties will have to join forces to command a majority in the 150-seat lower house of Parliament and ideological differences between them are so far blocking progress toward the next government. The official leading coalition talks says Rutte and Kaag need to sketch the contours of a policy blueprint for the next government that can form the foundation for a resumption of coalition talks in mid-August.