News of: Wednesday, March 08 2006,
Yesterday local elections were held in the Netherlands. The social democrats (PvdA) and the Socialist Party are the big winners in the city councils.
The parties constituting the current national government lost seats almost everywhere. The government now consist of a coalition of progressive liberals, conservative liberals and christian democrats.
In the 4 big cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht) the social democratic Pvda has become the biggest party.
In Amsterdam the PvdA has won 20 of the 45 seats in the city council (up from 15). The SP (Socialist Party) and the Green Left each have 6 seats. Together the left wing parties have a large majority of 32 seats in the Amsterdam city council.
Amsterdam also had elections for the neighbourhood councils (Amsterdam is divided into 14 neighbourhoods, each having its own local council). In some neighbourhood councils the PvdA now have the absolute majority (mainly in the suburbs).
The neighbourhood council of Slotervaart (Amsterdam West) is the first one to get a chairman of Moroccan origin, Mr Ahmed Marcouch.
Yesterday Amsterdam also said good-bye to the good old red pencil - as one of the last cities in Holland, Amsterdam now uses voting machines.
The local parties that are affiliated to the party of Mr Pim Fortuyn, the charismatic politician who got assassinated in 2002, all suffered great losses. In Amsterdam, the party disappears from the council.