MP Johan Houwers (Picture: Facebook / Johan Houwers) - Credit: MP Johan Houwers (Picture: Facebook / Johan Houwers)
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 17:37
Ex-VVD MP back to Parliament despite fraud sentence
Controversial former VVD member Johan Houwers was re-sworn into the Tweede Kamer Wednesday. Houwers, who was found guilty of mortgage fraud in 2013, is taking the seat of VVD member Mark Verheijen after he stepped down over integrity issues, NU reports. Houwers says he is ready to return to work as an MP in the lower house of Dutch parliament. His decision to continue as an independent now splinters the Tweede Kamer into 16 different political groups. The politician resigned from the Tweede Kamer in 2013 after police began an investigation into suspected mortgage fraud. He was found guilty of forgery and fraud and was issued a 4,000-euro fine. His former party made it clear that Houwers was not welcome to rejoin them. "There's no place for fraudsters in the VVD," said party leader Halbe Zijlstra. Houwers feels that he has paid his dues and is thus qualified to be an MP again. According to NU, he does not feel that he owes his seat to the VVD. "I was elected by voters, I was appointed and I accepted that appointment. I intend to act as an independent member of parliament," he is quoted as saying in NU.