Pressure mounts on Francophone Socialists
1 June 2006, BRUSSELS — Pressure mounted on the Socialist PS party on Thursday as the Liberal VLD launched an attack in response to the party's latest fraud scandal.
1 June 2006
BRUSSELS — Pressure mounted on the Socialist PS party on Thursday as the Liberal VLD launched an attack in response to the party's latest fraud scandal.
The Charleroi public prosecution office has also requested more officials to complete investigations into the Francophone Socialists.
Launching a frontal attack on the PS party, Flemish VLD Senator Jean-Marie Dedecker said: "If a party can lose its funding for racism, why not for corruption?"
Dedecker was referring to efforts aimed at blocking funding for the extreme-right party Flemish Interest, known in Dutch as Vlaams Belang.
The PS party is among five parties demanding the Flemish Interest lose its funding in response to the Antwerp racist murders.
But amid a series of new fraud allegations leveled at the PS party, Dedecker has lodged a legislative proposal that will make it possible to cut a party's funding if convicted of fraud.
Dedecker said his proposal is aimed at making parties responsible for the integrity of their politicians, city councilors and MEPs.
He said the amount of funding at stake should be based on the number of prosecutable crimes and the status of the convicted party member.
Dedecker said further the motto of the anti-immigration Flemish Interest is the same of the PS party: "They also serve 'Own People First'".
The VLD did not lend its support to the complaint against the Flemish Interest, but said it would if the PS is convicted of corruption, forgery and other forms of fraud.
Meanwhile, the Charleroi public prosecution office has requested extra staff to investigate the series of corruption allegations thrown against the PS party.
Currently, there are 25 justice officials investigating the PS party, but the Charleroi public prosecution office said 45-49 additional officials will be needed to complete investigations within a reasonable timeframe.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news