Court rejects LPF bankruptcy filing
17 August 2004, AMSTERDAM — A request by the populist LPF party to be declared bankrupt has been turned down, a spokesperson for a court in Rotterdam said Tuesday.
17 August 2004
AMSTERDAM — A request by the populist LPF party to be declared bankrupt has been turned down, a spokesperson for a court in Rotterdam said Tuesday.
The court has not made its ruling public or indicated the grounds on which it dismissed the LPF's application. The decision leaves the troubled party of assassinated politician Pim Fortuyn in legal limbo and could herald the end of the party as it is currently constituted.
LPF parliamentarian Hilbrand Nawijn speculated to news agency ANP that the court had decided the bankruptcy filing should have been sanctioned by a general meeting of the party's members.
Nawijn, a former minister of Immigration and Integration, said the members did agree during a meeting on 13 July that the party executive should seek a moratorium on payments to creditors, but the issue of seeking a full bankruptcy ruling was not voted upon.
Nawijn was elected to the party executive two months about when the previous board was forced aside due to unhappiness with the way the LPF was being run.
The big question for the party — set up to change the face of Dutch politics — is what to do now.
Nawijn said the current executive could decide to continue with the LPF as it is now, or break away and set up a new organisation. The LPF's parliamentarians, eight in the in lower house of parliament and one in the Senate, would then have to decide whether to align with the new organisation.
Last week, the LPF announced it was filing for bankruptcy ostensibly to be able to write off large debts owed to the party's main financiers, property tycoons Ed Maas and Chris Thunnessen.
Both men lent the party large sums of money to fight the 2002 and 2003 general elections.
In follow up interviews after the announcing the bankruptcy plan, LPF leader Matt Herben revealed the move would help get rid of 'troublesome members'.
All LPF members would have to reapply to rejoin the party and the applications of people out of favour with the leadership would be rejected.
The LPF has been plagued by internal disputes since the murder of its founder Fortuyn in May 2002. Rivalry between two LPF ministers destroyed the government coalition the LPF subsequently formed with the Christian Democrat CDA and the Liberal VVD within 87 days.
Executive board members Sergej Moleveld and Jan Belder opposed the bankruptcy application. They claimed the party had deliberately not sought to negotiate with its other debtors, even though this could have prevented the need of declaring bankruptcy, news agency Novum Nieuws said.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news, Dutch politics, LPF