Rotterdam council coalition loses majority as Leefbaar councillor quits

Photo: Roger Veringmeier via Wikimedia Commons

Rotterdam city council executive board – a coalition between local populist party Leefbaar Rotterdam, the Christian Democrats and D66 – has lost its majority support after a Leefbaar councillor moved over to the Islamic party Nida.

Mo Anfal has been a councillor for Leefbaar Rotterdam since 2014 but now says he no longer feels at home with the populists.

‘They say origin does not matter but they are dividing the city,’ he told the NRC. ‘They have a negative approach and are increasing the gap between rich and poor.’

Anfal’s defection means the Islamic party now has two councillors in Rotterdam, a year ahead of the local elections.

As yet it is unclear what the impact of the change of sides will be. On Thursday the council will debate the scandal surrounding the Waterfront pop concert hall, which cost the city €8m.

Sources in city hall expect the fall-out could cost Leefbaar council executive Ronald Schneider his job.

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