Local elections: Amsterdam earmarks €400,000 for ethnic minority vote

Plans by Amsterdam city council to spend €400,000 encouraging ethnic minorities to vote in the March local elections have come under fire from opposition parties – particularly as the campaign leader is a prominent Labour supporter.

Labour traditionally has a high level of support among people with Turkish, Moroccan and Surinamese backgrounds and polls show the party is losing its leading position in the Dutch capital.

Turnout in the local elections in Amsterdam is usually around 50% and the city council wants to increase this to 65%. To do this, the city is planning a ‘specific approach to specific target groups’, mayor Eberhard van der Laan said in a city council briefing.


The civil servant picked to spearhead the campaign is Laila Frank, a long-term Labour party member and former assistant of Labour alderman Freek Ossel, the Parool said.

Opposition parties D66 and CDA say the money should be used to stimulate all population groups to vote. The Socialists are not convinced by the plan either, the Parool reports.

‘This campaign focuses on parts of the city where Labour is the biggest party,’ local D66 campaign leader Jan Paternotte told the paper. ‘City council money should be used to reach all Amsterdammers, not just ethnic minority voters.’

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