Cloud hangs over direct mayoral elections

22nd March 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Senate was due to vote on Tuesday night whether to approve the Dutch government's plan to introduce direct mayoral elections.

22 March 2005

AMSTERDAM — The Senate was due to vote on Tuesday night whether to approve the Dutch government's plan to introduce direct mayoral elections.

The plans must be approved by a two-thirds majority before Democrat D66 Government Reform Minister Thom de Graaf can submit the bill to the Lower House of Parliament.

Under the present system, mayors are appointed by Queen Beatrix, but direct mayoral elections could be phased in starting with the major cities from 2006 if the Parliament approves.

But the fate of the reforms was uncertain on Thursday afternoon. Main opposition party Labour PvdA is concerned about how much power elected mayors will be given.

The PvdA demanded on Thursday assurances that elected mayors retain administrative authority over police. It also said the government's time line for implementation of mayoral elections was too quick.

Minister De Graaf was expected to speak in the Senate later on Thursday and the PvdA will then make clear its stance. A vote is expected later tonight or early Wednesday morning.

The direct election of mayors is an important policy of the D66 and was one of the conditions laid down prior to the signing of a coalition government accord with the Christian Democrat CDA and Liberal VVD in 2003.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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