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Amsterdam chooses its first woman mayor


IANS Amsterdam
Former political leader Femke Halsem has been chosen as the mayor of the Dutch capital, making her the first woman to be given the role in the city's history.
An ex-leader of the left-wing Groenlinks party, 52-year-old Halsema said she was "happy, proud and humbled" by the nomination, the BBC reported on Thursday. She retired from frontline politics in 2011 and succeeds Eberhard van der Laan, who died last year.
Amsterdam had its first mayor in 1343.
The nomination of Halsema by the left-led city council has to be ratified by the government and signed by the king but that is seen as a formality, the report said.
Her nomination came several months after a group of 45 prominent Amsterdam women protested in an open letter backing calls for a woman to take up the job.
"For a capital city that considers itself emancipated, diverse, tolerant, gender-neutral and progressive, this is becoming embarrassing," they said in the letter.
However, Halsema's nomination has not been universally welcomed. Critics said she had no suitable administrative experience and 7,400 people signed a petition against her.

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First Published: Jun 28 2018 | 8:02 PM IST

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