As VH reported on Monday, the evidence indicates that there was massive vote fraud in Rotterdam during last week’s municipal elections. Voter intimidation, multiple people in a voting booth, disappearing ballots, questionable proxies — all of these methods and more were alleged by Leefbar Rotterdam, which stood within several hundred votes of the PvdA (Labour Party, Socialists) in the final tally.
However, since the PvdA currently controls the city government, and any recount was at the discretion of the Socialist mayor, there seemed little chance of a recount being ordered.
So this is a surprise. According to NIS News:
Full Rotterdam Vote Recount
ROTTERDAM, 10/03/10 — Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb decided yesterday to order a recount of all the votes cast in his city during the local elections of 3 March, following increasing pressure on him to do so.
Aboutaleb will ask qualified civil servants to supervise the recount of all the votes cast. As in other municipalities, they had been counted initially by volunteers of the various polling stations.
Aboutaleb’s predecessors, Ivo Opstelten and Bram Peper, both urged the recount yesterday morning. “It is a matter of the confidence that the voter has to have in the voting process,” said Opstelten. Peper endorsed this. “In elections, every trace of doubt must be removed to guarantee impartiality”.
Despite the abuses at various polling stations, Aboutaleb saw no cause last week for a recount or for declaring the election invalid. They would not have had any influence on the ultimate division of the seats, he reasoned.
Aboutaleb yesterday maintained there had been no reason initially for a recount. “But signals of mistakes have subsequently come to light,” he stated.
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Boosted by immigrant votes, Labour (PvdA), the party of Morocco-born Aboutaleb, emerged as the biggest in Rotterdam with 28.9 percent of the vote. The rightwing Liveable Rotterdam, the white population’s favourite, came second with 28.6 percent, a difference of only about 600 votes. Both won 14 seats, but PvdA, as the biggest party, has the initiative to form a coalition.
On the day of the elections, it had already emerged that many immigrant voters stood in the voting booth together, which is forbidden. Meanwhile, signals have also emerged of people voting two or three times, intimidation of Liveable Rotterdam voters on the street or in the voting booth, empty ballot boxes and people who voted for other people without showing ID.
Hat tip: TB.