Belgium gets new PM after 493 days

Agence France-Presse

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Belgium gets new PM after 493 days

Belgian Minister of Cooperation Development, Digital Agenda, Postal services and Finance, Alexander De Croo of the Open VLD party (R), gestures as he speaks during a press conference following a last night of inter-party negociations to form a new government, on September 30, 2020. - De Croo was chosen to head a formation of a new seven-party coalition government, after 21 months with no ruling majorit, some 493 days after inconclusive federal elections. (Photo by François WALSCHAERTS / AFP)


Belgium has had no governing majority for 21 months since the collapse of former leader Charles Michel's government

Flemish liberal leader Alexander De Croo will be Belgium’s new prime minister at the head of a seven-party coalition government, it was announced Wednesday, September 30 – 16 months after an inconclusive election.

De Croo’s French-speaking socialist rival Paul Magnette confirmed that the parties had chosen the 44-year-old finance minister as premier. He is to be sworn in on Thursday, October 1, by Belgium’s king.

By choosing a Flemish leader, the incoming government hopes to balance the fact that its parliamentary base will be drawn from mainly French-speaking parties, with the main Dutch-speaking groups in opposition.

“We flipped a coin and it came down to Alexander and it’s an excellent choice,” Magnette joked at the end of the press conference to present the outcome of the negotiations.

Belgium has had no governing majority for 21 months since the collapse of former leader Charles Michel’s government, and it has been 493 days since federal elections failed to resolve the crisis.

Leaders from 7 parties met until the early hours on Wednesday before coming to an agreement on a government program and cabinet line-up to be presented to King Philippe.

De Croo will replace French-speaking liberal leader Sophie Wilmes who has served as acting premier during the coronavirus epidemic but never wielded a parliamentary majority.

The new coalition will bring together two socialist parties – one French-speaking, and one Flemish – two liberal parties and two sets of greens.

The CD&V, a party of Flemish Christian democrats will also join, but the larger Flemish nationalist N-VA, which was in government between 2014 and 2018 will leave power.

Belgium’s House of Representatives is expected to meet on Thursday to endorse the new government.

The country has been governed by a minority coalition since December 2018, when the N-VA abruptly left Michel’s government during a row about immigration.

The legislative election of May 2019 saw gains by various green and fringe groupings, further fragmenting the political landscape and making it harder to build a majority around the traditional parties.

Belgium has a long history of political instability and previously went without a government for 541 days in 2010 and 2011. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!