The far right PVV and far left Party for the Animals in Groningen called for a recount of the provincial council election votes, but Groningen mayor Peter den Oudsten has denied their request.
Translation by Traci White
The two parties claim that the votes were handled carelessly in several instances. Dagblad van het Noorden reports that mayor Den Oudsten, who is the chairperson of the Central Electoral Committee of Groningen, disagrees with the party’s accusations.
“The number of ballots that were declared invalid is below the national average”, Den Oudsten said on Monday. There were 583 such ballots in the province. “A recount would only be considered if we were talking about large scale issues, which is not the case. As such, we are dismissing these complaints.” The parties said that they are not satisfied with the mayor’s comments and are planning to request a debate during the next provincial council meeting to discuss a recount.
Conflict of interest
Party for the Animals was projected to hold one seat in the provincial council, but the small animal rights-focused party lost one of those seats and Forum for Democracy gained one in the final vote count. Party for the Animals would need just 137 votes to secure a second seat. PVV went from three seats to two, most likely because would-be PVV voters chose to vote for the even further right wing Forum for Democracy.
Ton van Kesteren, a member of the PVV in the province, says that in addition to voting inconsistencies, the party suspects that there may have been at least one case of a conflict of interest. A chairperson of a polling station in Groningen reportedly described the PVV as a “semi-fascist, racist and undemocratic” party on Facebook. Mayor den Oudsten roundly denounced the Facebook post, which also stated that the chairperson voted for D66.