Dutch Prime Minister and The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) leader Mark Rutte casts his vote during the Dutch municipal elections at a polling station in The Hague on March 21, 2018. / AFP / ANP / Jerry Lampen
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Dutch voters were casting ballots in local elections Wednesday with far-right parties seeking gains and all eyes on a referendum on plans to broaden government online spying powers.More than 12 million voters are eligible to vote for councilors in the 380 municipalities, with ballots closing at 9:00 pm.But political analysts say the local vote is being dwarfed by a simultaneous referendum over whether to back a new online security law giving Dutch intelligence services sweeping powers to tap online data.The latest polls said 53 percent of voters would back the law, with 34 percent against, according to the ANP news agency.Rutte's liberal, business-friendly VVD party emerged as the biggest party in parliament with 33 seats, while the anti-Islam and euroskeptic PVV won 20 seats to become the country's main opposition.
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