Senate vote row: provincial councillor to explain all

The Zeeland provincial councillor at the centre of a row about vote buying is to send an open letter to parliament explaining in detail what he and the prime minister discussed earlier this month.

Johan Robesin, a member of the independent Zeeland party, had been expected to use his senate vote for the independent parties’ coalition but now says he has decided to vote for the government. The change of heart came after a private meeting with Mark Rutte and PVV leader Geert Wilders.
Robesin told local broadcaster Omroep Zeeland on Tuesday evening the press had written ‘straightforward lies and nonsense’ about the meeting.


Robesin had been quoted in the press as saying he had been promised no more reclaimed land in Zeeland would be flooded again to create nature.
However Rutte told parliament earlier in the day he had made no promises to Robesin in return for his vote.
The Financieele Dagblad quotes Rutte as saying it is his job to try to ensure the ruling alliance has a majority in the upper house of parliament.
However, opposition MPs accused Rutte of trying to drum up support for the anti-Islam PVV which needs a few more votes to take 10 senate seats – giving the coalition a majority.
Provincial councillors will vote for the upper house of parliament on May 23.

Earlier stories

Rutte under fire over suspected senate deal on Zeeland
Prime minister ups pressure over senate vote
Senate blow to cabinet, regional parties 50PLUS may form alliance

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