Ex-convict MP in Dutch anti-Islam party
A Dutch Freedom Party MP with a past conviction for sexual offences is posing problems for anti-Islam party leader Geert Wilders.
MP Eric Lucassen, a former army instructor, served one week of military detention in 2002, having been found guilty of having sex with two female trainee soldiers under his command, TV station RTL4 revealed on Thursday. Mr Lucassen has also been accused of issuing threats and intimidations to his neighbours between 2006 and 2009.
Cabinet The MP cannot be simply ousted from the Freedom Party group in the Lower House, because that would destroy the one-seat majority supporting the current right-wing government. Theoretically that could lead to the fall of the cabinet, barely a month after the new government came into office. Mr Wilders held talks into the early hours of Friday morning with the rogue MP to find a solution. "It's not good for our party to have these kind of issues in the news. It's not the first time things like these have happened."
Explaining why Mr Lucassen was not properly screened when he presented himself as a candidate, Mr Wilders explained that "our party is lacking the means to hire expensive bureaus to screen people who want to become politically active for the Freedom Party".
Headbutt Earlier incidents involved Freedom Party MP Hero Brinkman who assaulted a barman in parliament's press café in 2009; MP Marcial Hernandez dealt a headbutt to a waiter in a pub in The Hague earlier this year. Freedom Party MP and animal rights campaigner Dion Graus was accused of physically abusing his pregnant wife in 2002.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide