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Yearbook 2002

Netherlands. It was a stormy year in the Netherlands, with the first political murder in modern history. According to Countryaah website, two governments resigned and the country was led by an expedition minister at the end of the year ahead of the planned new elections in January 2003.

2002 Netherlands

In mid-April, Prime Minister Wim Kok left his post and his entire government followed suit. The cause was an official report that blamed Dutch UN soldiers for the massacre of Muslims in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica in 1995. However, the government continued as an interim government until the parliamentary elections a month later.

Already in connection with the municipal elections in March, it had become clear that the political map was being redrawn. A newly formed, anti-immigrant party led by the controversial Pim Fortuyn won in Rotterdam. He was negative mainly towards Muslims because he claimed that they threatened the traditionally tolerant society in the Netherlands. He himself was openly gay. Before the parliamentary elections, the party was renamed Lijst Pim Fortuyn (LPF) and this was strongly reflected in opinion polls. But May 6, just nine days before the election, Fortuyn was shot dead in the open street. The perpetrator was an animal rights activist who was arrested immediately.

The election was held as planned, despite the assassination. LPF became the second largest party, with 17% of the vote. The Christian Democratic CDA won by 28%. Kok's workers' party PvdA lost substantially and almost halved its mandate. After lengthy coalition negotiations, a right-wing government was formed in July with the CDA, the LPF and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). Jan Peter Balkenende became prime minister. It became a short-lived government; after almost three months, it collapsed due to contradictions within the LPF. CDA and the VVD continued as the Ministry of Expedition.

In February, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander married Argentine Máxima Zorreguieta. There was some criticism when the bride's father Jorge Zorreguieta had a past as minister during the military dictatorship in Argentina 1976-83. The father did not come to the wedding for security reasons.

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