The Labour party must tell prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende that he is ‘a liar’, says former Labour (PvdA) minister Jan Pronk. The comment by Pronk, who is one of seven candidates running for the chairmanship of the party, is reported prominently by all the Dutch media on Wednesday morning.
The accusation against Balkenende was in context of what Pronk called the Netherlands ‘scandalous’ involvement with the war in Iraq. Labour should challenge Balkenende on this issue, said Pronk.
The former aid minister, who has a reputation for being outspoken, made the statement on Tuesday during a party meeting in Meppel where candidates for the chairmanship made presentations.
Pronk repeated his call for a parliamentary inquiry into Dutch support for the US invasion of Iraq. He said he was disappointed that the PvdA had abandoned this demand during coalition talks earlier this year to form a cabinet with the Christian Democrats and ChristenUnie.
Pronk was the UN’s special envoy to the troubled Sudanese province of Darfur until last year when he was declared persona non grata by the Sudanese government for suggesting in his weblog that the country’s army had lost two important battles with rebels in Darfur.
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