Pim Fortuyn leads greatest Netherlander poll
22 October 2004AMSTERDAM — Maverick politician Pim Fortuyn is leading the competition to elect the greatest Dutch person ever. The country has not got over the shock of Fortuyn's assassination in 2002.
22 October 2004
AMSTERDAM — Maverick politician Pim Fortuyn is leading the competition to elect the greatest Dutch person ever. The country has not got over the shock of Fortuyn's assassination in 2002.
Fortuyn established the populist LPF party which threatened to overtake the traditional big parties in the Netherlands. Fortuyn, who campaigned against immigration and bureaucracy, was gunned down by Volkert van der Graaf on 6 May 2002, nine days before the general election.
The LPF's strong standing in the polls was buoyed up even further following the first political assassination in hundreds of years. It won 26 seats and entered a coalition government. But deprived of its charismatic leader, the LPF has been severely damaged by internal wrangling which destroyed the government with the Christian Democrat CDA and Liberal VVD after 87 days.
Almost 200,000 people have voted to date in the competition which is being run by broadcaster Kro. A documentary about Fortuyn was screened on Wednesday and this seems to have given him the edge over Willem Drees, the previous front runner in the top 10 list.
Drees was a popular prime minister of the Netherlands from 1948 to 1958 who laid the foundations of the welfare state.
Right behind him comes Willem of Orange (1533-1584). Also the father of the fatherland, he led the rebellion against Spanish control of the Netherlands.
Another figure in contention is German-born Jew Anne Frank who whose diary about her life hiding with her family in an attic in Amsterdam during World War II is world famous. They were eventually betrayed and captured by the Nazis. Anne Frank and most of her family died in Concentration camps. Her father survived and published her diary.
The outcome of the greatest Netherlander competition is being broadcast on 15 November.
Click here to go to the Kro site about the competition.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news