LPF MPs split from party

24th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

24 August 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The eight populist LPF MPs officially cut ties with the party on Tuesday, unanimously deciding to go it alone after a series of embarrassing crises linked to the Dutch opposition party's executive.

24 August 2004

AMSTERDAM — The eight populist LPF MPs officially cut ties with the party on Tuesday, unanimously deciding to go it alone after a series of embarrassing crises linked to the Dutch opposition party's executive.

Parliamentary leader Met Herben said the MPs had made "a radical and painful" decision. He said they had taken very seriously advice from MP and former government minister Hilbrand Nawijn to officially break away from the LPF executive board, news agency ANP reported.

Nawijn — who was a representative on the party executive — said the MPs have rescinded their LPF party membership. The unanimous decision was taken in a special meeting outside The Hague on Tuesday. He said it was a definitive split.

The decision comes after MPs Joao Varela and Joost Eerdmans had earlier indicated they were willing to break from the party, Dutch public news service NOS reported. "It is only bungling and trouble," Eerdmans said in relation to the party.

The MPs are fed up with the party being constantly embroiled in controversy. The decision is directly linked to the continued power struggle at a management level within the party. MPs claim the resulting chaos and unrest hinders their work as parliamentarians.

The decision also comes after controversy returned on Monday with news that the public prosecution has launched an inquiry into possible financial fraud within the LPF.

Former LPF executive Henrick Fabius — who resigned last week with two other board members — handed over to police at the weekend documents possibly indicating embezzlement in the LPF accounts.

Meanwhile, the MPs have indicated they want to continue serving in the Dutch Parliament under the party name Lijst Pim Fortuyn (LPF), but it is not yet certain whether this is legally possible. The MPs said they feel obligated to the election policies and ideals of Pim Fortuyn, the party's deceased founder.

Fortuyn established the LPF in the lead up to the general election in May 2002. Amid a wave of emotion following his assassination at the hands of a lone gunman on 6 May 2002, the LPF was swept to power with 26 seats in the new coalition Christian Democrat CDA and Liberal VVD government.

Party infighting and the ongoing leadership battles led to the fall of the government by the year's end. The LPF was subsequently decimated in the January 2003 election and currently has eight MPs.

Herben said he realised the decision by the MPs to break from the party raised the risk that its parliamentarian representation might be further splintered, but said the present situation could no longer continue. He said MPs had tried their best to keep the party together.

In the coming period, a committee under the leadership of MP Gerard van As will examine the creation of a new administration. And any new party will need at least 1,000 members, but Nawijn does not expect any problems in this regard.

Eight provincial LPF administrative boards backed the parliamentary faction's decision on Monday to publicly distance itself and withdraw its confidence in the main board. That decision came prior to Tuesday's decision to officially break with the party administration.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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