MP corruption allegation taints Prime Minister

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Mark Verheijen (Picture: Twitter/@RaymondSalman). (Mark Verheijen (Picture: Twitter/@RaymondSalman))

VVD Member of Parliament Mark Verheijen arranged a free election party for Prime Minister Mark Rutte in 2012 at the Floriade in Venlo. According to the AD, the VVD paid for nothing, despite the exhibition being highly dependent on such income.

Verheijen was closely involved in the tax funded Floriade. In 2012 he claimed that the election party was not held as a favor to the VVD and that the party paid for the event. But the liquidator of the now liquidated Floriade states that no invoice was ever sent for the election party. A spokesperson for the VVD also confirms that nothing was paid to the Floriade. "We only paid for the decoration of the stage", the spokesperson said to the newspaper.

According to the invitation, the election party was from 19:00 to 21:15 p.m. There was free shuttle transportation to the Floriade and no admission fee. At the time Verheijen was the Limburg official responsible for the Floriade and also sat on the foundation board.

Verheijen recently came into disrepute for filing unjustified declarations. The Limburg company Taurus also filed criminal charges against him for corruption during his time as councilor in Venlo. Verheijen has taken a temporary leave of absence from the Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament) pending the results of an investigation into his declarations. The latest poll by Maurice de Hond shows that almost half of Dutch voters think that the parliamentarian should not return to the Tweede Kamer.

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