Centrist European leaders celebrate Dutch election result


THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Centrist European leaders congratulated Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte Thursday on an election victory seen as a repudiation of far-right populism in Europe as he looked ahead to what is likely to be a long process of talks to form a government.

Rutte's right-wing VVD easily won national elections, defying polls that suggested a close race with anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders.

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