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 Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 18:13 GMT 19:13 UK
Rise and fall of Fortuyn's party
Pim Fortuyn
Difficulties have beset the party since Fortuyn's death
After a meteoric rise in Dutch politics started earlier this year, the party of the late Pim Fortuyn now appears to be in terminal decline. BBC News Online charts the changing fortunes of the Fortuyn party.

February 2002: Pim Fortuyn founds his anti-immigration party, the Pim Fortuyn List (LPF), creating a powerful new presence on the Dutch national political centre stage.

April: Prime Minister Wim Kok's government resigns following an official report criticising its role in the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1995, when some 100 lightly-armed Dutch peacekeepers fail to stop Bosnian Serb forces from murdering thousands of Muslims.

6 May: Pim Fortuyn is shot dead by a lone gunman as he leaves a radio studio in the central Dutch city of Hilversum.

15 May: The Dutch general election is held, in which the LPF comes second. It takes 26 seats.

16 May: The LPF elects new leader Mat Herben, a former journalist.

2 July: A member of the party's executive resigns after weeks of conflict within the board.

22 July: The new coalition government, headed by Christian Democrat Jan-Peter Balkenende and which includes the LPF party, is sworn in. The third coalition partner is the liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).

23 July: Just a few hours after the new government is appointed by the queen, LPF junior minister Philomena Bijlhout resigns after she "forgets" to mention her links to the former military dictatorship in the South American state of Surinam, where she was born.

August: The LPF parliamentary faction criticises party leader Mat Herben, who decides to step down.

At the last moment, the candidate to replace Ms Bijlhout as junior minister of emancipation Fiona de Vilder withdraws her candidacy.

Former motoring magazine editor Harry Wijnschenk becomes leader, but he is also subsequently forced out by party infighting. Two of MPs who criticised his leadership have meanwhile also been ordered out.

16 October:

Two feuding LPF cabinet ministers, Eduard Bomhoff Herman Heinsbroek, resign after a huge personality clash.

But the political leaders of the VVD and the CDA pull the plug on the entire cabinet after losing confidence in its LPF partner.

Hours earlier, LPF parliament members had again chosen Mat Herben as their leader.

23 January 2003:

Voters desert the LPF in droves, as it loses 18 of its 26 parliamentary seats.

The CDA, which narrowly won the elections ahead of Labour, is likely to choose an alternative coalition partner amid voter dissatisfaction with the LPF's internal feuding.

But Mr Herben tells the party faithful the LPF is "still on the map".

See also:

22 Jul 02 | Europe
04 Jul 02 | Europe
16 May 02 | Europe
07 May 02 | Europe
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