Netherlanders go to polls to elect new provincial councils

AMSTERDAM: Almost 13 million voters went to the polls to elect new members of 12 provincial councils and the 23 water boards in Netherlands on Wednesday.

Only Dutch nationals can vote in the provincial elections, but the water board vote is also open to other residents. The winners in the provincial vote will go on to elect the 75 members of the senate in May. This means their role is crucial – the current coalition government does not have a majority in the upper house of parliament and relies on the help of opposition parties to get legislation through.

Reportedly reasonable numbers of Turkish nationals also are among the candidates to provincial councils. Most of the Turkish origin candidates take place at Workers’ Party (PvdA) and Green Left (GL) lists. There are around 230 thousand Turkish electorate in Netherlands.