Politician targeted in corruption probe returns as Roermond alderman
Former alderman Jos van Rey will return to the council of Roermond on behalf of the Liberal People's Party Roermond, announced formateur Dirk Franssen on Friday. In 2017, Van Rey was banned from working in the government for two years after being convicted of corruption, ballot fraud, leaking confidential information and money laundering.
The new council consists of five aldermen: two from the LVR and one each on behalf of GroenLinks, VVD and PvdA. The LVR is the largest faction in the city council with 11 seats, followed by GroenLinks with five and VVD and PvdA with two seats each.
Initially, discussions were held with three parties and the CDA. But Franssen excluded this party from further negotiations on Wednesday.
The four coalition parties will continue to work in the near future to bring the coalition agreement into a definitive version. The portfolios will also be also divided then. The other candidate aldermen besides Van Rey are Dirk Franssen on behalf of the LVR, Marianne Smitsmans (GroenLinks), Vincent Zwijnenberg (VVD) and Felix van Ballegooij (PvdA).
For eight years, the major parties in Roermond maintained a cordon sanitaire around the LVR, because Van Rey was suspected and later convicted of fraud. That exclusion has ended since the last elections, when GroenLinks and VVD announced that they would like to participate in the proposed coalition.
The LVR is a split from the VVD and was created in 2013 when the VVD pressured Van Rey to abandon his candidacy for the 2014 elections on suspicion of corruption. In April 2015, the VVD expelled Van Rey.
A few years ago, Van Rey was sentenced to one year in prison for corruption and electoral fraud. He was also not allowed to be an alderman for several years. That suspension has now ended.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times