Scandal politician says sorry to senate

17th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

17 March 2005, BRUSSELS – Opposition parties in the Belgium senate closed ranks on Thursday, calling for the resignation of the socialist head of the Upper House.

17 March 2005

BRUSSELS – Opposition parties in the Belgium senate closed ranks on Thursday, calling for the resignation of the socialist head of the Upper House.

Anne-Marie Lizin apologised to the senate for writing to a judge at home to ask her to “re-examine” the case of a mother’s custody battle.

Until now she has referred to her action as a "gaffe", but on Thursday morning, she told the senate: "I committed clear errors, which can be deemed faults."

She admitted the move was "incompatible with the principle of the separation of powers" and offered "apologies and regrets".

"The separation of powers is a principle that no mayor or senator can infringe," said the senator, who is also the mayor of Huy.

"I will in future conform scrupulously with the principle."

The statement wasn’t enough for the other political parties, however, who used their 15-minutes each in the following debate to call for the senator’s head.

Christine Defraigne, a senator for the centre-right Mouvement Reformateur, said: "I’ve asked myself what I’d do in your place and the answer is I would have resigned.

"When we make light of principles, we are ripe for tyranny, for a totalitarian state."

The green Ecolo party’s Isabelle Durant was equally scathing.

"You don’t have any other choice but to resign," she told Lizin. "Don’t force us to ask you to."

Sabine de Bethune, the group leader for the Flemish Christian Democrats (CD&V), also said Lizin should go out of respect for her position, her reputation and democracy.

The French speaking Christian social party’s group leader Christian Brotcorne said the CDH had always shown confidence in Lizin.

"But this time that confidence has been shattered," he said.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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