Elections to the Dutch provincial councils
The Netherlands has elections for three levels of government: national, provincial and municipal. Today are going to be held the provincial council elections. The country is composed of 12 provinces: Drenthe, Flevoland, Fryslan, Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland, Zuid-Holland. The number of council members varies, according to the size of the province’s population. Flevoland and Zeeland have the smallest councils (39 members), North Brabant, North Holland and South Holland the largest (55 members). At present, there are 570 provincial council members.
Polling stations are open today from 7.30 a.m. till 9.00 p.m. The municipal executive of each municipality is responsible for the organization of the elections. One of the special powers of the provincial council is the election of members to the Senate. These elections are always held within three months of the provincial council elections. This year the Senate elections are set for 27 May, four days after the elections for the Dutch members of the European Parliament.