Femke Halsema chosen as new Amsterdam mayor

The city council of Amsterdam nominated Femke Halema to be the new mayor of the Dutch capital. She will be the first female mayor of the city. The expectation is that Halsema will be officially appointed next month, NU.nl reports.

"Femke Halsema is definite and connecting. 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", Johnas van Lammeren (PvdD), head of the confidential committee in charge of selecting a candidate to be mayor, said on behalf fo the city council.

Halsema was faction leader for GroenLinks between 2002 and 2010. Before that she was a parliamentarian for several years. This is the first time a GroenLinks member will be mayor of one of the Netherlands four large cities. 

A total of 114 people applied to be mayor of Amsterdam in two application rounds. In the first round 29 people applied, only four with administrative experience, so the vacancy was opened a second time. In that round, 85 people submitted applications

The search for a new mayor follows the death of Eberhard van der Laan in October. Van der Laan was mayor of Amsterdam for seven years. Jozias van Aartsen is currently acting as mayor of the Dutch capital. 

Earlier this week De Telegaaf reported that Halsema's candidacy for mayor was met with resistance in the Amsterdam city council, mainly due to fears that she lacks administrative experience. 

On Wednesday the Rijksrecherche, the department that handles internal investigations at government services, announced that it launched an investigation into information leaks from the confidential committee in charge of selecting a candidate to be Amsterdam's mayor.