European observers see room for improvement in Dutch elections

Polling station in Amsterdam, 21 March 2018
Polling station in Amsterdam, 21 March 2018. Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times

The municipal elections in the Netherlands on Wednesday had no significant problems, according to observers from the European Council who followed the elections critically. They do however see room for improvement, the Volkskrant reports.

One such improvement is for the Netherlands to draw up rules on the financing for local political parties. Such rules already exists on national level - parliamentary parties are obliged to publish all donations above 4,500 euros. But that does not apply to local parties and creates a concerning lack of transparency, according to the observers.

Another critical point, is the fact that votes are counted manually. "It takes a long time and people at polling stations are often tired from a long day. That can lead to mistakes", a spokesperson said to the Volkskrant. Perhaps new technology can help with this, she said. 

The observers traveled across the country on Wednesday, to check the election process at various polling stations. They will publish an official report on their findings, which is expected in June. 

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