Wouter Beke, the President of the CD&V (Flemish Christian Democrats), says that the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken (New Flemish Alliance), must decide whether he can continue in his current role. He stated on Friday on Radio 1, “If parliament is left with the feeling that when accouting for an aspect, you were in fact communicating something else, you must decide in good conscience whether or not you are able to continue in your position.”
It would appear that Theo Francken was not completely honest last week in parliament when he spoke about returning the Sudanese to their country of origin. Following the revelation of poor treatment suffered by the Sudanese returned to their own country by Belgium, the Prime Minister announced the suspension of the repatriation of individuals originally from Sudan, whilst awaiting the findings of an investigation.
The Secretary of State says that Beke’s comments are “Absurd”, given that no further expulsions of Sudanese individuals to their home country are planned. One Sudanese individual’s stay was actually extended yesterday. The individual’s return to Sudan was cancelled.
Wouter Beke further said on Friday, “A number of circumstances have arisen which have rarely been seen previously.” He went on, “When explanations in parliament turn out not to be in keeping with reality there is a problem. Not for nothing has he [Francken] had to apologise.”
The President of the Flemish Christian Democrats said, “I am well aware that Jo Vandeurzen and Yves Leterme resigned over incidents in the past. This was because parliament had the impression that they had not told the truth. They did so in accordance with their personal professional code of ethics, credibility being the most precious thing in politics.” He concluded that personal interpretations of the professional moral compass, here in the political sphere, vary as between individuals.