Green party leader in Zeist resigns over fake Facebook accounts
Ronald Camstra resigned as leader of the GroenLinks faction in Zeist after reports that he was using fake Facebook accounts to influence political discussions on the social media platform.
According to RTV Utrecth, Camstra had Facebook accounts under various aliases including Noortje van Breukelen, Felix Stoker, Sheila Zwierig, Femke van Dijk, and Edwin de Kort. Noortje van Breukelen got involved in local political discussions, always taking the GroenLinks position, and also wrote columns for zeistermagazine.nl, a website co-managed by Camstra. The broadcaster became suspicious of her when it could find no one who knew her and when her account disappeared right after it tried to contact her.
Camstra denied that he created the fake accounts. In his resignation, he also spoke of the "false allegations" against him. Camstra said he decided to resign in GroenLinks' interest and because the accusations "cost him more and more negative energy and distract him from his work as city councilor".
Liesbet Raymakers, department chair of GroenLinks Zeist, told RTV Utrecht that she respects Camstra's decision."Ronald has meant a lot to the party, the person par excellence who managed to bring political decision-making very close to the inhabitants of Zeist, and who did not shy away from a fierce debate. But we understand that all the negative attention ultimately took too much energy. We thank Ronald for his many years of commitment and pleasant leadership, always with the glass half full."