Mazel Tov to Job Cohen, the Mayor of Amsterdam. He is the likely candidate to be the Dutch prime minister in their upcoming elections. Mr. Cohen announced that he will be running for the office of Labor Party chairman after its current leader, Wouter Bos, announced that he would resign his post.
News agencies in Holland reported that Cohen had more than 50% of votes, giving him a substantial advantage over his two opponents, Christian Democrat leader and leaving Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, and far-right PVV leader Geert Wilders.
A poll conducted by Maurice de Hond sees that Cohen has 55% of votes, Balkenende 25%, and Wilders 17%.
Another poll of 16,000 people by TV show EenVandaag showed 52% of voters would prefer Cohen as prime minister, compared with the 17% and 15% for Balkenende and Wilders, respectively.
Wouter Bos submitted his resignation over the controversy surrounding his placement of Dutch forces in Afghanistan. He says that he is leaving politics to devote more time to his family.
The two polls show a percentage of backing for the three candidates, not support for their parties, but a win for Cohen is expected to see more votes for the floundering Labor Party and shift public backing from Wilders’ far-right party.
Cohen, who is known for his inter-culture politics, helped relieve tensions in Amsterdam in 2004 after the assassination of the anti-Muslim filmmaker Theo Van-Gogh. The mayor met with Muslim leaders and quelled threats of rioting, following his death.
Should he win, Job Cohen will not be wearing a kippa at the inauguration ceremony – he is a “non-practicing Jew.”