Dutch Muslim party to run for seats in country's biggest cities
Amsterdam - The Dutch Muslim Party NMP is to run for seats on the councils of the Netherlands' three biggest cities in next year's local elections, party chairman Henny Kreeft told reporters on Monday. In June, the NMP announced plans to run in "five to 20 cities," but declined to mention which. Kreeft now says his party will run for seats in the city councils of Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam. The NMP aims to get "two seats or more" in Amsterdam, he said.
The NMP is also due to run for seats in the new municipalities of Almere and Noordoostpolder, north-east of Amsterdam.
Kreeft describes his party is the Muslim version of the Christian Democrats. Like with the Christian Democrats, family values rank high on the NMP's political agenda. The party also aims at improving the image of Islam and supports having Muslim cemeteries and banking systems inthe Netherlands
However, Kreeft emphasizes that his party "does not want to establish a Muslim republic in the Netherlands."
The NMP, which also set its sights on participating in general elections in 2011, is to present its political program in late September, after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Kreeft, who converted to Islam in the 1990s and was previously active in liberal left and populist parties, founded the NMP in 2007. The party's board consists of native Dutch nationals and immigrants.