The 2017 Green Party corruption scandal arose in February/March 2017 when it was discovered that party leader and incumbent prime minister Peter Wostor had illegally used government money to fund the campaigns of family members and close associates who were running for positions of municipal councils.
When the scandal came to light, the Social Democrats withdrew their support for Wostor as PM, causing the government to collapse just ahead of the 2017 general election. Meanwhile, a group of Green Party politicians, led by deputy leader Warren Sheraldin, left the Green Party in protest of Wostor's actions, and subsequently formed a new leftist, environmentalist/animal rights party called ECO17. Wostor eventually resigned from the leadership of the Green Party when the party collapsed in the polls and the threat of legal action against him increased, and was replaced as leader by Nick Rutten, who had been the most Wostor-loyal of the Green Party's congresspersons. Rutten's Green Party, however, continuing to poll poorly ahead of the early elections.
The illegally-funded campaigns covered all of the races in the 2015 Municipal Elections. Most of the candidates were Wostor family members, and many were running for the Green Party, although some were actually running as independents against Green Party lists headed by non-Wostor candidates. In two races, Grunbeck and Sint-Willemstad, Peter Wostor financed both a Wostor family Green Party candidate and an independent; these two independents were Adam and Daniel Worcester, who had previously been Green Party members (having been introduced to the party by Wostor himself) until other GP members sued their construction company for violating environmental regulations.
A full list of the illegally-funded candidates is shown below:
- Adam Worcester, independent, Grunbeck
- Daniel Worcester, independent, Sint-Willemstad
- Charles Wostor, independent, Brezonde
- David Wostor, Green Party, Cape Cross
- Ian Wostor, independent, Koningstad
- Mark Wostor, Green Party, Sint-Willemstad
- Matt Wostor, Green Party, Martensdorp
- Mike Wostor, Green Party, Grunbeck
Collapse of the governmentEdit
News of the corruption allegations surfaced on 10 March 2017, just one month before elections were to take place. Congress met on 13 March and Christian Democratic Union leader Adrian Vandreck demanded that Wostor resign, and had the backing of a number of other members, including many from the Free Liberal Party. During that same session Social Democratic leader Pieter Van Buskirk announced that his party would no longer back Wostor and the government fell. Wostor formally resigned on the 14th of May.
Formation of a caretaker governmentEdit
On 14 March Pieter Van Buskirk was proposed as a caretaker Prime Minister by the SD, and soon after the CDU proposed that Vandreck be chosen, as he was outside the beleaguered government, though nothing ever came of the idea. Aina Sarria of Yes to the Future also went as far as to propose that major parties be all investigated for potential financial discrepancies, though it is unlikely many at the moment would support it.