Local election news, 28 February 2006

28th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

'Pray for authorities' during the election

'Pray for authorities' during the election

A church group asked Dutch Christians on Tuesday to pray in private moments and religious meetings for the authorities in the run-up to the local elections on 7 March. The Kroonbede committee said the Evangelical alliance and the chairmen of the small Christian parties, ChristenUnie and SGP, support the call. The organisation has suggested themes for the prayer: "Thank God for the possibility of free elections, religious freedom and the freedom of expression". Christians can also ask for forgiveness for "materialism, wastefulness and indifference in our country and in our own lives" and for toleration of "sin and darkness" by municipal authorities in the last four years.

Dirty streets upset Amsterdammers most

Dirt on the street is the number one annoyance for residents of Amsterdam, according to the biennial 'livability' report produced by the Federation of Housing Corporations. Some 18,000 residents of the capital answered questions about safety, pollution and their local neighbourhood. Dirty streets got the worst mark of 6, as was the case in 2003. Traffic and criminality came second and third in terms of annoyance, with scores of 6.5 and 6.6. Neighbours were next with a dissatisfaction rating of 6.7. Prostitution, cafés and bars and coffeeshops are less of a concern for the average Amsterdammer. And residents are slightly more positive in general about their neighbourhood. The average score in this category was 7.1, compared with 7 in 2003 and 6.9 in 2001.

VVD leader in Utrecht is camera shy

All main leaders of local parties in Utrecht feature on election posters, except for Halbe Zijlstra, the head of the list for the local branch of the Liberal Party (VVD). "I am not a supporter of personal campaigning. It should be about the substance," he told newspaper 'NRC Handelsblad'. Zijlstra, 37, has been a local councillors for 12 years and he feels it is now time for him to become a city alderman. The entrepreneur sees himself as an ideal financial manager for the city.

CDA's Rotterdam Code in Chinese

"We Rotterdammers use Dutch as our common language," according to the Rotterdam Code published by the local authority earlier this year. The Christian Democrat Party (CDA) is part of the coalition on the city council that sanctioned the code. Therefore, the decision by CDA candidate Yiu Cheung to print posters in Chinese only has raised a few eyebrows. "A large part of the Chinese community in Rotterdam does not speak any Dutch," CDA spokesman Michael Sijbom explained.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news + Dutch local elections

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