Health Minister Edith Schippers during Prinsjesdag, 2014 (photo: Rijksoverheid/Bas Arps) - Credit: Health Minister Edith Schippers during Prinsjesdag, 2014 (photo: Rijksoverheid/Bas Arps)
Monday, 16 March 2015 - 08:14
Conspiracy to bring down ruling party VVD: Health Min.
Minister Edith Schippers (Health, VVD) thinks that the scandals that have recently come to light around the VVD were kept back to come out just before the provincial elections on Wednesday, the Volkskrant reports. Schippers made this statement in an interview with De Telegraaf on Saturday. She thinks that it is no coincidence that so many incriminating publications about the party and its members were published during the campaign time. The recent scandals include Mark Verheijen's faulty declarations and a free election party held in 2012, Kathalijne de Kruif being arrested on suspicion of corruption and involvement in illegal cannabis cultivation, the so-called Teeven-deal with drug criminal Cees H. and even Bram Dirkx of the VVD youth organization JOVD also being suspected of faulty declarations. These scandals have led to the resignation of three VVD members in recent weeks: Mark Verheijen, Minister Ivo Opstelten (Security and Justice) and State Secretary Fred Teeven (Security and Justice). Almost two weeks ago Nieuwsuur revealed that the amount involved in the deal Teeven made with Cees H. during his time as prosecutor was 4.7 million guilders, not 1.25 million as Opstelten repeatedly told the Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament). The company hired to look for the receipt also found it in just 2 days, despite Opstelten claiming that the receipt was untraceable. "If a receipt from fifteen years ago is found a week before the election, it is my conclusion that it is not a coincidence", Schippers said. She does not know who is behind it. "Some say it is the underworld. Others say the forces in the judiciary. A third group says the forces in the legal profession. I can not judge that. But there is a force behind it somewhere." Schippers statement caused a stir in politics. D66 parliamentarian Gerard Schouw wants Schippers to give them an explanation and the evidence behind her statement during a question hour on Tuesday. "The minister makes serious accusations towards the officials of the Ministry of Justice concerning the affair with Cees H. She suggests that the officials leaked the information. I want to know on what she bases it." Yesterday on the television program Buitenhof, Schippers stated that she is not assigning blame to anyone. "I note that for two consecutive elections a fifteen year old case comes up in the middle of a campaign. Once is coincidence, twice seems too much of a coincidence, so we have to investigate it properly." Schippers said. She thinks that an independent committee should investigate the deal. "It is not up to me to speculate."