Senator told to resign over 'guerrilla training'

22nd November 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 November 2005, AMSTERDAM — The executive of the green-left party GroenLinks has called on one of its senators to resign.

22 November 2005

AMSTERDAM — The executive of the green-left party GroenLinks has called on one of its senators to resign.

Party officials claimed on Monday that Senator Sam Pormes had not been open about his past. It is alleged that Pormes took part in 'guerrilla training' in Yemen in the 1970s.

Pormes, 51, of Molucccan descent,  has been a member of the Upper House of the Dutch Parliament (Senate) since 2001. He told news programme NOVA on Monday evening that he would consider his position over the course of the week. He indicated he may surrender his seat in the Senate.

But he is also wondering whether to ask the party council to decide if he should step down. Pormes conceded that he had not "aways been transparent" with the party, yet he continued to deny the main elements of the accusations levelled against him.

The party executive withdrew its support for Pormes after studying the findings of a special investigation commission set up to examine the senator's past.

The commission decided there was sufficient evidence - despite the denials by Pormes - that he had taken part in training camps in Yemen.

There were a number of other issues Pormes had not been totally open about, the commission said.

These related to contacts between Pormes and the Molucccans who hijacked a train in 1977, his links to a gunfight with police in 1982, and one instance of the improper receipt of WW unemployment benefit.

The executive of GroenLinks accepted the commission's findings. It also admitted the party should have acted sooner to investigate allegations about Pormes that have appeared on several occasions in the media over the years.

Pormes repeated to NOVA that he had not received paramilitary training in Yemen. He accused the investigation commission of making mistakes, including relying on anonymous sources.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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