Provincial councillors, representatives from the Dutch Caribbean islands, and the expat community will vote today to elect the 75 members of the upper house of parliament, or senate.
The results of the vote will be finalised around 4 pm. Even though it is clear that the pro-farmers BBB will be the biggest grouping, the complicated electoral system means one or two seats in the senate are not yet certainties and depend on agreements made between the parties themselves.
Tuesday is the first time that representatives of Dutch nationals abroad have been able to vote for the upper house. Eelco Keij, chairman of the foreign resident’s foundation, told Dutch News that Tuesday is a historic occasion.
“Not only does this reflect a new concrete step toward democratic influence by the Dutch abroad, but it has wider implications,” he said. “From now on, every four years, all political parties will have to take their constituency abroad into consideration and set up specific campaigns for them.”
The current coalition government does not have a majority in the senate and will need even more opposition votes for controversial legislation when the new one is installed next month.
As with every election, voting takes place in a private booth with a voting form and a red pencil.
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