Vote revision widens rift within VVD

19th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

19 May 2006, AMSTERDAM — A new row has broken out within the Liberal (VVD) about the news that members who have voted by post in the leadership election can change their preference.

19 May 2006

AMSTERDAM — A new row has broken out within the Liberal (VVD) about the news that members who have voted by post in the leadership election can change their preference.

Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk is afraid many could alter their votes as a result of her controversial role in the Ayaan Hirsi Ali naturalisation issue. The Minister's campaign team suspects the VVD's executive is trying to shaft Verdonk by announcing postal ballots can be substituted by a digital one.

"We demand from the party executive that the first vote be the valid one", a spokesperson for Verdonk's campaign said. Frans Weisglas, chairman of the parliament and a member of the VVD, supported the call.

The party's managers said in response that the possibility of revising a postal vote is not a right but the inevitable result of agreements made earlier. "If it transpires that both a digital and postal vote has been cast, the postal vote is not counted," a spokesperson said.

The 40,000 members of the VVD have until 25 May to vote in the contest to pick the person to lead the party into the general election in 2007. The candidates are Verdonk, Education junior minister Mark Rutte and MP Jelleke Veenendaal. The result will be announced at the end of the month.

So far 20,000 members have voted, of which 9,000 did so by post. Only some 10 to 20 people have to date asked whether they can change their votes.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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