Friday, July 11, 2014 - 11:43
Rotterdam mayor Aboutaleb to get 2nd term
The municipal council of Rotterdam has granted mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb the possibility to run for re-election on nomination from the confidential committee. The council will send a recommendation to the King's commission, after which the Minister of Internal Affairs have to perform a constitute endorsement. Then, the King will be able to formally appoint him. Aboutaleb (52, PvdA) became mayor of Rotterdam around five years ago. The previous mayor was current Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten (VVD). Aboutaleb started out as State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment. Once he took on the mayorship, he became the first Islamic politician in that position of a big Western-European city. His first term will end in January. In the last few months, Aboutaleb seems to have taken a more liberal tone to his stances than he has in the past. Surprising was his sudden pro-stance on regulated marijuana cultivation, for example. His support of Elou Akhiat, a Moroccan entrepreneur who received criticism for opening a wine bar in the city in February, gained Aboutaleb a lot of respect as well. Once her story was printed in the Metro, Akhiat received death threats. To this, Aboutaleb came to her defense asking where these people get the nerve to make someone feel terrorized this way. The mayor was also able to safeguard the Van Ghent barracks for Den Haag thanks to a strong lobby. His strengths do not lie merely in political play or strong morals, however. The mayor was also able to single-handedly, with the help of an officer, catch a thief in Kralingen.