Amsterdam chooses Femke Halsema as first woman mayor

By Sara Shayanian  |  June 28, 2018 at 10:09 AM
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June 28 (UPI) -- Amsterdam's city council chose former political leader Femke Halsema to be mayor, making her the first woman to hold the position in the Dutch city's history.

More than 100 people applied to be mayor of Amsterdam following the death of former Mayor Eberhard van der Laan in October.

Halsema will take over the job from Jazias van Aartsen, acting mayor of the Dutch capital.

"Femke Halsema is definite and connecting," Johnas van Lammeren, head of the confidential committee in charge of selecting a candidate to be mayor, said. "She knows the city, the different layers of society, the problems and the challenges, through and through. She sees in an inspiring way the opportunities and possibilities in Amsterdam and also sees the vulnerability."

Halsema, a former leader of the Netherlands' left-wing Groenlinks party, said she was "happy, proud and humbled" by the nomination.

The 52-year-old's nomination to take over as mayor still needs to be ratified by the government and signed by the Dutch king.

In a statement on her website, Halsema said she would take the time the government would need to ratify her appointment to prepare for her new role.

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