BRUSSELS, March 16 (Xinhua) -- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday hailed "the clear victory" of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's rightist party in Wednesday's parliamentary elections, saying the result is "an inspiration for many."
"The people of The Netherlands voted overwhelmingly for the values Europe stands for: free and tolerant societies in prosperous Europe," Juncker said in a letter of congratulation to Rutte.
At the end of the brief letter, Juncker made a clarion call in Dutch: "Let's build a strong Europe!"
Late Wednesday, Juncker's chief spokesperson, Margaritis Schinas, tweeted that Juncker cheered "a vote for Europe, a vote against extremists" when he spoke with Rutte after the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) held the upper hand in the exit poll.
According to the final exit poll released Wednesday, the liberal rightist party VVD took the lead in the Dutch parliamentary elections, with its biggest competitor, the far-right Party for Freedom (PVV), staying far behind.
The definite exit poll forecasted that the VVD got 31 of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives, or the lower house of parliament, while the PVV was expected to garner only 19 seats.