|Affiliation||List Pim Fortuyn
Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland , Netherlands
|| February 19, 1948
|Died||May 06, 2002
Feb 19, 2009 02:16pm
Caucasian - Dutch - Single - Assassinated - Catholic - Gay -
|Info||Wilhelmus Simon Petrus (Pim) Fortuyn was born on February 19, 1948 in Driehuis, to a Catholic family. He studied sociology in Amsterdam and later worked as a lecturer at the Nyenrode Institute and as an associate professor at the University of Groningen. In 1988, he moved to Rotterdam, and became the director of a government organisation administering student transport cards. From 1991 to 1995, he was an extraordinary professor at the Erasmus University, appointed to the Albeda-chair in "employment conditions in public service." When his contract was discontinued, he made a career of public speaking and writing books and press columns, gradually becoming involved in politics. |
A one-time communist and former member of the social-democratic PvdA, on November 26, 2001 he was elected by a large majority as lijsttrekker of the newly formed Leefbaar Nederland (Liveable Netherlands) Party to participate in the May 2002 Dutch parliamentary elections.
As lijsttrekker for the Leefbaar Rotterdam Party, the local affiliate of Leefbaar Nederland, he achieved a major victory in the Rotterdam district council elections in early March 2002. The new party won about 36% of the seats, making it the largest faction in the council. For the first time since the Second World War, the Labour Party found itself out of power in Rotterdam.
On February 9, 2002, he was interviewed by the Volkskrant, a Dutch newspaper. The statements he made were considered so controversial that he was dismissed as lijsttrekker the next day. In the interview Fortuyn said, among other things, that he favoured putting an end to Muslim immigration, if that were possible. Having been rejected by Leefbaar Nederland, Fortuyn founded his own party, LPF (Lijst Pim Fortuyn), on February 11, 2002. Many Leefbaar Nederland supporters transferred their support to the new party.
On May 6, 2002, at age 54, he was assassinated in Hilversum, North Holland by Volkert van der Graaf. The attack took place in a parking lot outside a radio studio in Hilversum, where Fortuyn had just given an interview. This was nine days before the elections for the lower house of Parliament, for which he was running. The attacker was pursued by Hans Smolders, the driver of Pim Fortuyn, and was arrested by the police shortly afterwards, still in possession of a gun.
Months later, Volkert van der Graaf confessed in court to the Netherlands' first modern age political assassination (excluding WW II events), possibly the first since the lynching of the De Witt brothers in The Hague in 1672. Van der Graaf said: "I confess to the shooting. He was an ever growing danger who would affect many people in society. I saw it as a danger. I hoped that I could solve it myself." Van der Graaf was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
The assassination shocked the Netherlands and made the cultural clashes within the country apparent. Politicians from all political parties suspended campaigning. After consultation with LPF, it was decided not to postpone the elections. However, under Dutch law, it was not possible to modify the ballots, so Fortuyn became a posthumous candidate. The LPF went on to win an unprecedented debut in the lower house of parliament, winning 26 seats (17% of the 150 seats in the house). However, after the elections the following year, this figure dropped to eight seats, and after the 2006 elections the party had no seats left in the parliament.
Fortuyn was initially buried in The Netherlands. He was re-interred on July 20, 2002, at San Giorgio della Richinvelda, in the province of Pordenone in Italy, where he had owned a house.
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