Voters want Wilders to throw out controversial MP
Voters think Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders should throw MP Eric Lucassen out of the party, according to an opinion poll. The reputation of the MP was damaged last week, following newspaper reports that he had been convicted of a sexual offence by a military court and that his anti-social behaviour had led neighbours to report him to the police ten times for assault and intimidation.
The revelations led to further stories emerging in Dutch daily AD of his aggressive behaviour in a period that he used to frequent coffee shops and smoke marijuana. The paper even reported that in his youth he was involved in vandalism and fights.
The Freedom party PVV wants stricter law and order policies and to ban the legal sale of marijuana in coffee shops. Having an MP convicted of having sex with underage army cadets when he was their trainer and who reportedly harassed neighbours, to the point of following an elderly man to intimdate him and even urinating through a letterbox, is damaging. He is the fourth PVV MP reported to be on the wrong side of the law.
In the poll by Maurice de Hond, 83 percent of Dutch people thought he should be removed from the party. Out of PVV voters, that figure was 78 percent, only 14 percent disagreed.
Commotion The commotion around the MP has not been settled. When the news first broke, Mr Wilders lectured him until the early hours of the morning. After the meeting, Mr Wilders had failed to take a decision on what sanctions to take. He said he needed more time.
If Mr Wilders throws Lucassen out of the party, the MP has every right to hold onto his seat in parliament. This would mean the minority conservative VVD-Christian Democrat government could not longer rely on a majority vote in parliament with the support of the Freedom Party.
If he does not remove the MP from his party it will reflect badly on the party which prides itself on taking a tough stance on law and order and anti-social behaviour.
Mark Rutte Prime Minister Mark Rutte says it is a matter for the Freedom party. Trouw reports that the prime minister had mentally prepared himself for commotion caused by the anti-Islam party. In the paper, the prime minister says, “It’ll probably happen more than once.” The protestant daily also reported that Mr Lucassen was not prepared to give up his seat in parliament.
The poll reveals that so far the issue has not harmed Mr Wilders’ popularity much as 90 percent of his voters still back him.
Maurice de Hond's internet poll was held among a random sample of at least 2500 from 40,000 people who have ever been polled by his panel.
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