The Open VLD statutory committee has clarified its decision last week. Sihame El Kaouakibi is suspended for six months but remains a member of Open VLD. As a member of the group, she must observe party discipline.
Last week the statutory committee of Open VLD put Flemish Member of Parliament Sihame El Kaouakibi on hold for six months. These are protective measures that must protect the party against reports of possible malpractice at Let’s Go Urban (LGU), the brainchild of El Kaouakibi. It also did not help that the Antwerp Member of Parliament did not initially or only sparingly with information about the bridge.
• El Kaouakibi without a party feels like a victim of settlement
There was a lack of clarity about the scope of the measure – ‘inactive’. Suspended as a party member does not mean that she will be temporarily expelled from the party. This morning the statutory committee came with more explanation. A suspended member cannot participate in board elections or compete as a candidate for a mandate.
The suspension meanwhile does not affect the political mandate. That is also impossible, a mandate belongs to the individual and not the party. Article link https://www.news1.news/news/2021/02/suspended-el-kaouakibi-remains-a-member-of-the-open-vld-group.html
The statutory committee further emphasizes that the suspended mandatory must ‘comply with the agreements and positions of Open VLD’. As a result, El Kaouakibi will remain a member of the group and dissenting voting behavior will not be tolerated.
The suspension will last until mid-August. Last week, El Kaouakibi announced that she agreed with the measure. Article link https://www.news1.news/news/2021/02/suspended-el-kaouakibi-remains-a-member-of-the-open-vld-group.html
The term can be extended / shortened depending on whether there is more clarity about the entire file.
Yesterday, the politician replied with his own audit of the LGU accounts, led by former SP.A politician Johan Vande Lanotte. Contrary to a previous audit, this showed that there was no personal enrichment or incorrect diversion of subsidies to its own companies. On the other hand, the bookkeeping turned out to be a mess and the internal relationship between the staff was lost. Her lawyers filed a complaint against an employee and objected to the appointment of a provisional administrator. Article link https://www.news1.news/news/2021/02/suspended-el-kaouakibi-remains-a-member-of-the-open-vld-group.html
The court is also continuing its investigation.
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