Amsterdam chooses first woman mayor Halsema

The last remaining city in Netherland to not have never had a female leader has made history by choosing it first female mayor.

The city of Amsterdam, which had its first mayor in 1343 chose 52-year-old former political leader Femke Halsema as its mayor.

Halsema's nomination by the city council will need to be ratified by the government and signed
by the king but that is seen as a formality.

Ms Halsema, a former leader of the left-wing Groenlinks party, said she was "happy, proud and humbled" by the nomination. She is set to succeed Eberhard van der Laan.

45 prominent Amsterdam women had in an open letter backed calls for a woman to take up the job of mayor following the death of Eberhard van der Laan.

"For a capital city that considers itself emancipated, diverse, tolerant, gender-neutral and progressive, this is becoming embarrassing," they wrote.

Critics of Ms Halsema's nomination says she has no suitable administrative experience and 7,400 people have signed a petition against her.

citing her green policies, they asked: "Do you want a mayor who stands up for your city, rather than the whole planet?"

Femke Halsema retired from frontline politics in 2011.

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