Gay politician top candidate for Maastricht mayor
The municipal council of the Dutch city of Maastricht has nominated free-market liberal Onno Hoes as its candidate for mayor.
Mr Hoes, a former provincial councillor, is known nationally as the same-sex husband of television presenter Albert Verlinde.
Maastricht is the capital of the mainly Roman Catholic province of Limburg. The previous mayor of the southern city, popular Christian Democrat Gerd Leers, was forced out of office after a dispute over a private real estate deal. It is seen as a break with tradition that his chosen successor as mayor of the city is from a different party. The council committee which nominated Mr Hoes was unanimous in its praise and confidence. "He made a good impression," one committee member told reporters on Thursday evening.
Mr Hoes' previous appointments include a term as councillor in the province of Noord-Brabant and membership of the provincial government, where he held the Environment and Ecology portfolio.
It is not known when exactly Mr Hoes will assume office. His appointment for a six-year term needs to be formally confirmed by the government. Dutch mayors are appointees, not elected officials.
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