Municipal elections: Corruption-accused politician's party biggest in The Hague
The local party Hart voor Den Haag/Groep de Mos remains the largest party in The Hague. The results show that Richard de Mos's party will likely have nine seats, Mayor Jan van Zanen announced after 93 percent of the polling stations' votes had been counted. That did not change in the hours that followed In the previous municipal election in 2018, De Mos's party became the largest, with eight seats. That corresponds with the polls, but party leader and former MP De Mos, and his number two Rita Verdonk, had hoped for more.
In the past, De Mos was a parliamentarian for the PVV. He was an alderman in The Hague for a year, together with fellow party member Rachid Guernaoui. He resigned after a raid on the city hall and their homes by the Rijksrecherche, the department that handles internal investigations at the government and government services. De Mos is accused of official corruption - helping befriended entrepreneurs get permits in exchange for donations, and Guernaoui is still considered a suspect as well. Both claim to be innocent. The investigation is still ongoing. The criminal allegations led to the collapse of the coalition in The Hague, and pushed Hart voor Den Haag into the the opposition.
The Hague has now counted all the votes. D66 was successful, rising from six to eight seats, making it the second largest party in the city. VVD will remain on seven seats and GroenLinks will retain its five seats. CDA and PvdA both remain on three seats. This means that the five parties that are now in the city council will again have a majority, and this time it will grow from 24 to 26 seats. They can continue to operate in a coalition without De Mos.
De Mos hoped for about 15 seats so that the other parties could not ignore him when forming the new city council. But the current city council will have no reason to let his party into a coalition agreement. De Mos said in an initial response: "Despite all the setbacks, we have become the largest party in the most beautiful city in the Netherlands. We are going to take the lead in the formation. And to the parties that exclude us, I say: stop that."
Two parties are coming to the city council in The Hague for the first time. DENK will take two seats. In addition, there is probably a seat for Forum voor Democratie. The party leader is MP Gideon van Meijeren. A few years ago, the PVV was one of the largest political groups on The Hague’s council, but now seems to be faltering from two seats to one. 50PLUS will disappear from the local council.
In The Hague, over 43 percent of voters cast their ballot. In the previous election, it was 48 percent.
Reporting by ANP