Former immigration minister leaves LPF
Updated 23 June 2005AMSTERDAM — Former Dutch immigration minister Hilbrand Nawijn resigned from the populist LPF party on Wednesday evening after his parliamentary colleagues reacted angrily to his political friendship with Filip Dewinter, leader of Belgium's right-wing Vlaams Belang party.
Updated 23 June 2005
AMSTERDAM — Former Dutch immigration minister Hilbrand Nawijn resigned from the populist LPF party on Wednesday evening after his parliamentary colleagues reacted angrily to his political friendship with Filip Dewinter, leader of Belgium's right-wing Vlaams Belang party.
Nawijn, who was the first immigration and integration minister from July 2002 to May 2003, intends to set up a new national political party. It will draw many of its policy ideas from the Flemish Vlaams Belang.
Both he and Dewinter have stressed that the think tank they founded on Monday is not a political party and that both the Belang and Nawijn will have to follow their own political course in their respective countries.
Nawijn has yet to announce the name for his new political party but newspaper 'Algemeen Dagblad' has reported that he registered the internet domain name 'Hollands Belang' on 9 May.
Organisers of the Stadsloop in the Groningen town of Appingedam also confirmed on Wednesday they have told Nawijn it would no longer be appropriate for him to fire the starting pistol for one segment of the racing event on Saturday.
The reason given was the launch by Nawijn and Dewinter of the Marnix van Sint Aldegonde think tank on Monday. The two politicians want to promote Dutch culture and stimulate debate on immigration.
The launch took place in the Rotterdam home of Pim Fortuyn, the assassinated founder of the LPF. The house has been preserved as a shrine to Fortuyn's ideas and the LPF was deeply annoyed by Nawijn's use of the building for his cooperation with Dewinter.
Fortuyn had refused to cooperate with the controversial Belgium politician.
Dewinter's party changed its own name from Vlaams Bloc to Vlaams Belang last year after a court branded it as racist.
Also on Wednesday, Dutch Christian political party ChristenUnie announced it has consulted its lawyers about the new think tank's use of the name Marnix van Sint Aldegonde.
ChristenUnie's is already using the name for its publishing department and does not want to be associated with Nawijn and Dewinter's political views.
Nawijn and Dewinter had intended to call their organisation "Willem van Oranje" (William of Orange) but the Dutch Royal Family — the House of Orange — vetoed the use of the name shortly before Monday's launch.
Nawijn and Dewinter then issued a press release with the incorrect spelling for Marnix van Sint Aldegonde, followed shortly after by a new statement with the correct spelling.
Marnix van Sint Aldegonde was mayor of Antwerp and sided with William of Orange in the war against the Spanish occupiers of the Lowlands in the latter part of the 16th century.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news