How did that happen? That’s the question that Mina Morkoç asks herself when she sees the result of the Rotterdam municipal council elections. Her party GroenLinks has again won five seats, meaning that as number five on the list, Morkoç will be a member of the municipal council for the next four years. What particularly stands out is the huge number of preferential votes she received. Of the nearly twenty thousand GroenLinks votes in Rotterdam, the student received 2,780. Only party leader Bokhove received more.

Beter dan gedacht

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“I was in shock. I worked really hard over the past few weeks and went out a lot to present myself. I felt I’d done well, but this is much better than I thought. It shows that we really need a young person who thinks about a green future for the city.”

After all the festivities in recent days, the real work will soon start for Morkoç. From next week, training sessions and workshops will prepare her for council work. “I’m going to absorb all the knowledge like a sponge, and particularly remember lots of names,” she laughs. “It’s going to a lot of fun, a real learning curve. What do I hope to achieve? I want to work towards a green and inclusive city where everyone feels safe and where also the LGBTI community can walk hand in hand to a better future.”

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'Feeling the effects of a good night out’

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In Kralingen, too, it was party time for Friso van Gruijthuijsen. When he woke up on Saturday morning ‘feeling the effects of a good night out’, the results of the district council elections soon banished his hangover. Nearly twelve hundred Kralingen residents voted for the Econometrics and Economics student, more than enough for one of the nine places in the district council.

“I was very surprised, particularly by the number of votes. But I felt that the campaign had gone well. I talked to lots of students who told me that they normally wouldn’t vote for someone from the VVD. But because they wanted a student in the district council, they planned to vote for me. That’s the nice thing about the district council. It’s about the district, not the parties.”

With the support of the students, he hopes he can make a difference in the coming years. Because although the district council has an advisory role, Van Gruijthuijsen has plenty of ideas. “During the campaign, I often heard that the area around the Kralingse Plas really isn’t safe in the evening. I want to do something about that. And I want to make sure that the houses that are built in Kralingen in the coming years will mainly be for students.”

EUR student kandidaten verkiezingen 2022 Friso van Gruithuijsen CDA – illustratie Migle Alonderyte

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Different role

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For Tom Janssen, number three on the list and campaign leader of the VVD in Schiedam, nearly all his wishes came true. His party held on to their current six seats, continued to be the biggest party in the city and received a higher percentage of the votes than four years ago. Janssen was therefore proud of the result.

“As campaign leader, you have an extra responsibility. You take all kinds of decisions during the campaign, but you only see the result on election night. Nationally, the VVD lost quite a lot of seats, so I’m really proud that we managed to get more votes.”

Only Janssen’s wish to no longer be the youngest council member wasn’t fulfilled. Although the departure of many current councillors means he is now one of the more experienced members of the council, he is still the youngest. “But I really enjoy helping our two new council members. That makes my role a bit different than four years ago.”

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Just missed

For the two students trying to get a seat in the municipal council for the CDA, election night was less successful. In Gemert-Bakel, the party dropped from 11 to 8 seats, meaning that as number 14 on the list, Hendrik van Hout did not make the council. And as number 6 on the list, Josephine Hartmann did not get enough votes to get a seat in Gelderse Berg en Dal, where the CDA dropped from 4 to 3 seats.

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