Friday, October 17, 2008

First Moroccan mayor in the Netherlands

RNW News 16-10-2008
Rotterdam City Council has voted Ahmed Aboutaleb as its mayor. The current deputy social affairs minister and member of the Labour party will be the first ever Dutch mayor of Moroccan origin. The appointment still has to be officially approved by the interior minister. Mr Aboutaleb will succeed Conservative VVD party member Ivo Opstelten, who has been in office for ten years.
Rotterdam City Council said Mr Aboutaleb is "extremely involved in local government" and "an inspiration for all Rotterdam residents".
But the small rightwing party, Leefbaar Rotterdam, with a large representation on the city's council criticised the appointment of Mr Aboutaleb: "He lives in Amsterdam, he's an opportunistic career climber, an Ajax supporter and worst of all, he has two passports", said leader Ronald Sörensen.
The National Committee of Moroccans (LBM) has applauded the new appointment of Mr Aboutaleb. "The Moroccan community is writing history by providing such a large and leading city with its lord mayor", says a spokesperson for the organisation.

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