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Places on citizens forum in big demand

Published on February 14, 2006

14 February 2006

AMSTERDAM — Some 3,000 Dutch citizens have registered in the last week for a place on the Burgerforum Kiesstelsel, the body being set up to advise the government about the best electoral system for the Netherlands.

The Ministry of the Interior said on Tuesday registration was now closed as many more people than expected wanted to be on the forum.

A notary public will chose the 140 members of the forum by lottery on 11 March. The forum will begin work in October to advise parliament and the government about the best electoral system.

The candidates were chosen at random from a selected group of Dutch voters. They all received a letter earlier this month from Government Reform Minister Alexander Pechtold inviting them to take part.

Pechtold is a member of D66, the smallest of the three parties in the centre-right coalition. He replaced former D66 leader Thom de Graaf who resigned from government in March 2005 when his plan for democratically-elected mayors was rejected in the Senate.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news