Sunday 25 August 2019

Elected mayors a step closer as key senate vote likely to say yes

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The senate – the upper house of the Dutch parliament – is set to vote in favour of plans to remove the way mayors are named from the constitution, a measure which clears the way for the introduction of elected mayors.

The measure, proposed by coalition party D66 and which has divided the ruling VVD, is supported by Christian Democrats on the condition that any elected mayors have limits to their powers.

Their support is crucial to ensure the required two-thirds majority. The vote will take place next week and the PVV, Socialists, GroenLinks, 50Plus and ChristenUnie have already agreed to back the measure.

Currently mayors in the Netherlands are technically crown appointees and nominated by the local authority they will represent.

The Labour party opposes the plan, saying it does not see the urgency of making change.

Earlier this month the Volkskrant reported that while support for the Labour party (PvdA) may have collapsed at last year’s general election, the party continues to dominate when it comes to new mayoral and other official appointments.

So far this year, 11 Labour party supporters have been named as mayors, the same number as for the right-wing Liberal VVD and well above the number of D66 (7) and CDA (6) appointments.

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