Fortuyn remembered three years on
6 May 2005, AMSTERDAM — About 50 people gathered in Hilversum to mark the three-year anniversary of the assassination of maverick politician Pim Fortuyn on Friday.
6 May 2005
AMSTERDAM — About 50 people gathered in Hilversum to mark the three-year anniversary of the assassination of maverick politician Pim Fortuyn on Friday.
The commemoration was held at the Hilversum Media Park where the populist politician was shot and killed by a lone gunman on 6 May 2002 after giving a radio interview.
Friday's commemoration — which started shortly before 11.30am — saw former populist LPF government minister Hilbrand Nawijn give a speech, followed by the playing of a violin and poetry recitals.
"It is still very emotional to come here. It is too scary for words to comprehend that someone was slaughtered in this car park because he said he loved his country," one woman said. "It is therefore good to remember. You achieve freedom with each other."
Following the morning commemoration, mourners left for the Drieshuis cemetery, near IJmuiden, where Fortuyn was temporarily interred before his body was flown to his final resting place in Italy.
Wreathes were laid at the empty tomb on Friday.
A parade of remembrance was to be held outside Fortuyn's Rotterdam home later on Friday afternoon.
Fortuyn was flying high on an anti-immigration and anti-establishment ticket when he was shot and killed by Volkert van der G, a Dutch-born activist who was later sentenced to 18 years jail on appeal.
Van der G said he shot Fortuyn to protect weaker groups in society.
The LPF founded by Fortuyn won a place in the coalition Christian Democrat CDA and Liberal VVD government at the 15 May 2002 election, but party infighting brought the Cabinet down by the end of the year.
The party was reduced to a minor role in opposition at the January 2003 election and is struggling to come to terms with the ideological legacy left by Fortuyn.
Former prime minister and Labour PvdA leader Wim Kok — whose government relinquished power in May 2002 — says in a recently published book Fortuyn would have won the election outright had he not been assassinated.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news