Dutch defy EC, release election results
11 June 2004
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch government has released the preliminary results from the European Parliament elections on Thursday in defiance of a European Commission warning that the Netherlands risks the prospect of legal action.
Both the Netherlands and the UK went to the polls on Thursday and the results of the Dutch election were known shortly after polling stations closed.
Voting in the other 23 European Union states will not finish until Sunday evening and the EC claims that releasing some results early could influence voters in another country and violates an EU embargo. Ireland and the Czech Republic go to the polls on Friday.
The Dutch government has claimed it is acting in the interests of greater transparency, BBC reported. It also argued that the law allows early publication of results if they are not the final tally.
The Netherlands released the municipal election results of the European Parliament election to national news agency ANP, which then tallied them up and the prognosis of the end result was televised by Dutch public broadcaster NOS.
The provisional results indicate with a certainty of about 98 to 99 percent the final outcome of the election before the Dutch electoral commission will issue the full official results on Tuesday.
If the EC decides that the Dutch government’s action constituted a breach of European law, it has warned it will take the matter to the European Court of Justice. The ensuing legal battle could take several months.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news