Two years on, LPF honours murdered Fortuyn
6 May 2004, AMSTERDAM — The supporters of Pim Fortuyn are holding a special rally Thursday to honour the memory of the maverick politician who was gunned down two years ago.
6 May 2004
AMSTERDAM — The supporters of Pim Fortuyn are holding a special rally Thursday to honour the memory of the maverick politician who was gunned down two years ago.
Pim Fortuyn ... gunned down two years ago
The populist Lijst Pim Fortuyn (LPF) party is holding a commemoration at the World Trade Centre in Rotterdam. LPF leader Mat Herben will address the gathering, followed by a screening of a documentary about Fortuyn's life.
Rotterdam was Fortuyn's adopted home city and the scene of his first political triumph which saw his Leefbaar Rotterdam (Liveable Rotterdam) party emerge as the largest grouping on the city council in the local elections in March 2002.
This was seen as a foretaste of his anticipated breakthrough at the national election on 15 May 2002, but nine days before the poll, Fortuyn was shot down in the car park of the Media Park in Hilversum.
There will be a minute's silence at the LPF rally at 6.06pm — exactly two years from the moment animal rights activist Volkert van der Graaf shot Fortuyn five times as he emerged from a studio following a radio interview.
Fortuyn supporters will also lay flowers at the Media Park and at the Westerveld cemetery in Driehuis. Fortuyn's body was initially interred there before being transported to Italy, where Fortuyn had a holiday home.
The killing was the first prominent political assassination in the Netherlands for 400 years, BBC reported. The murder shook Dutch society to its core.
Fortuyn — who had launched his political career the previous year — had spoken openly about his desire to become Prime Minster.
The LPF party went on to win 26 seats in the 150-seat Lower House of Parliament, the Tweede Kamer, and entered a centre-right coalition with the Christian Democrat CDA and Liberal VVD.
Rivalry between two LPF ministers led to the collapse of the coalition after less than 90 days in office. The LPF was reduced to eight seats in the subsequent election in January 2003.
Van der Graaf refused to talk about his motives for killing Fortuyn for a long time and this led to talk that he might not have acted alone. The police investigation and an official inquiry ruled out the idea of a conspiracy.
Later, Van der Graaf — who was jailed for 18 years — admitted he acted alone and had killed Fortuyn to protect the weaker members of society.
Ironically, many of Fortuyn's controversial and hardline views on Islam, immigration and crime have been largely adapted in the past two years by the mainstream political parties.
The Dutch government has been criticised internationally for its plan to expel 26,000 asylum seekers over the next three years. Many of the asylum seekers have been in the Netherlands for five years or more awaiting a decision on their applications.
Politicians on both the right and left of the political spectrum have also openly criticised some Muslim leaders in the Netherlands for allegedly espousing anti-western, anti-gay and anti-woman ideas.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004 + Novum Nieuws]
Subject: Dutch news + Pim Fortuyn