LR faction fighting threatens Fortuyn legacy

14th January 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 January 2004, AMSTERDAM — The legacy of murdered populist politician Pim Fortuyn was looking shakier than ever on Wednesday as yet another resignation struck his Leefbaar Rotterdam (LR) party.

14 January 2004

AMSTERDAM — The legacy of murdered populist politician Pim Fortuyn was looking shakier than ever on Wednesday as yet another resignation struck his Leefbaar Rotterdam (LR) party.

LR, under Fortuyn's leadership, came from nowhere to win the local elections in March 2002 and dominate the coalition running the port city.

The LR's victory was the first clear demonstration of the Fortuyn's power. The anti-immigration campaigner wanted to be prime minister of the Netherlands and he  nearly made it.

Fortuyn was gunned down by Volkert van der Graaf on 6 May 2003. But his national LPF party went on to take 26 parliamentary seats in the general election nine days later and entered a coalition government with the Christian Democrat CDA and Liberal VVD.

However the centre-right coalition was brought down 87-days later when the CDA and VVD lost patience with infighting between two LPF ministers.

Rotterdam seemed to offer a far better chance to preserve Fortuyn's legacy.

LR was initially praised for the party's willingness to get on with the other parties and its tough stance on crime was credited with making Rotterdam a safer place to live.

But three councillors broke away from LR in 2003 as a result of disagreements with LR party leader Ronald Sörensen endangering the coalition's majority on the city council.

In the latest crisis, Rabella de Faria has resigned from her position as LR Alderwoman for security and public health.

The break came as LR councillors made clear they had lost confidence in De Faria's ability to meet the targets set for her.

It remains to be seen if LR can avoid any further defections or whether the party is doomed to implode, signalling the end of the Fortuyn experiment.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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