Carola Schouten nominated as new mayor of Rotterdam

Schouten, 46, will be Rotterdam’s first female mayor. Until the Schoof cabinet took office this week, she was deputy prime minister representing the Christian Union and minister for poverty policy, participation and pensions in the Rutte IV cabinet. In Rutte’s third cabinet she was minister for agriculture, nature and food quality.

Schouten’s appointment was announced on Thursday evening by Rotterdam City Councillor Ruud van der Velden (Party for the Animals) on behalf of the confidential committee of the city council, which conducted the mayor’s candidacy procedure. This was done in collaboration with the Royal Commissioner for South Holland, Jaap Smit.

“The new mayor will take office on 10-10, of course 010,” said Van der Velden when the name was announced. According to SP councillor and confidential committee member Theo Coskun, there were several suitable candidates among the 26 candidates, but Schouten’s candidacy received broad support.

Schouten’s name was already being circulated as one of the leading candidates for the post. The announcement of Schouten’s appointment was greeted with loud applause by the board members.

If Schouten is appointed mayor of Rotterdam, three of the four largest cities will soon have a woman as mayor. After Femke Halsema in Amsterdam and Sharon Dijksma in Utrecht, Schouten would be number three. Only The Hague still has a man at the head of the municipal executive, Jan van Zanen.

The current mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, immediately congratulated Carola Schouten on her appointment as his successor. “We now have to wait for the process to continue, so that the mayor can ensure a smooth handover and help the new mayor get started,” said Aboutaleb’s spokesperson.

Aboutaleb announced his resignation on 9 January. He has been Mayor of Rotterdam since 5 January 2009.

Hugo the Younger

Hugo de Jonge also congratulated Schouten on his nomination. The former minister himself also participated in the race for the mayor of Maastricht.

“My warmest congratulations to Carola Schouten,” writes de Jonge in X. “Honestly, I would have liked to be one. But with Carola the city is in good hands. De Jonge wishes Schouten “much success and all the best for our beautiful Rotterdam.”

Christian Union party leader Mirjam Bikker considers the nomination of UC politician Schouten to be “great news.” Former CU faction chairman Gert-Jan Segers is also very pleased with Rotterdam’s choice “for this woman with such a sharp mind and such a big, warm heart.”

The Rotterdam section of the Christian Union wishes Schouten “many blessings and wisdom” in his new role. “We are happy that in Carola we have a mayor who has a heart for the city and an eye for everything and everyone who is vulnerable.”

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