A contest to choose the Netherlands’ best councillor has been suspended after shock blog GeenStijl urged its readers to vote against a candidate from a Muslim party.
Rotterdam councillor Nourdin el Ouali, of the Nida pary, was one of two finalists in the online vote, against Christian Democrat Rick Brink from Hardenberg.
Brink’s vote surged after GeenStijl posted at the weekend that it was ‘squeamish enough not to want to lose such a flimsy contest to the Muslims’. The extra 8000 votes crashed the site’s server.
Event organiser John Bijl, of the Pericles Institute, said the vote had been hijacked by ‘identity politics’. ‘I haven’t read anything on GeenStijl saying why Nourdin isn’t a good councillor and Rick is,’ he said.
The CDA also criticised the website’s behaviour. ‘We are not happy with the way these votes were gathered by pitting sections of the population against each other,’ said a spokesman for Brink.
Bijl said the winner would be announced on Tuesday evening, the day before the local elections, but the public vote would be combined with the decision of a jury.
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