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Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo in tears. He announced his resignation after the triple elections

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Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced his resignation. This is a consequence of the disappointing results obtained by his party in the triple elections held on Sunday. Belgians voted that day at the European, federal and regional levels. – It was a particularly difficult evening. We lost the election, De Croo admitted.

On June 9, Belgians elected members of as many as seven different parliaments. Voting took place at the level European, federal and regional. As commentators pointed out, in this exceptional situation it is not elections to the EP seem to be the most important, but the federal vote.

A tearful Prime Minister

Prime Minister Belgium Alexander De Croo announced his resignation during election night after disappointing voting results. With tears in his eyes, he said it was a “particularly difficult evening.” – We lost the elections – he admitted, adding that he took full responsibility for the defeat.

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The Belga Agency reported that the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten, Open VLD), of which De Croo is among its ranks, are the “biggest loser” of the national elections. This formation also achieved disappointing results in the European elections.

According to the BBC, the resignation of the head of government takes effect on June 10.

Alexander De Croo did not hide his emotionsJames Arthur Gekiere/Zuma Press/Forum

What next for Belgium's future after the federal elections?

Why is voting in general elections so important for Belgium? All because the future of the country may be at risk in Flanders, in the Flemish north. To govern and elect a prime minister, the Flemish and French-speaking parties would have to form a coalition at federal level.

IN federal elections However, first place was taken by the Flemish right-wing party New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) with 25 percent. Flemish votes – according to preliminary data. So far it has been in opposition.

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Bart De Wever, chairman of the Belgian New Flemish Alliance partyPAP/EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

Unexpectedly, the Alliance defeated the nationalist, populist and far-right party Flemish Interest (Vlaams Belang), which obtained 22 percent. support, and according to polls pre-election rounds, she was supposed to be the winner in the Dutch-speaking, northern part of the country.

The Flemish interest wants independence for Flanders, which would mean the end of Belgium as we know it today.

N-VA and Vlaams Belang are not part of the current seven-party ruling coalition. So far, the ruling parties have remained faithful to the agreement to keep VB out of the ruling coalition. However, even before the elections, the far right began to put pressure on other parties to give it a place at the table.

“Friends, we won this election,” N-VA leader Bart De Wever told his supporters. – And admit it: you didn't expect this. The polls were bad, the press comments were devastating, but you never gave up,” he added.

Belgium. A rally of the Flemish Interest party (Vlaams Belang). The photo shows Tom Van GriekenPAP/EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

In Francophone Wallonia, the winner is the liberal Reformist Movement (MR) party, gaining about 22 percent. support and winning against the Socialist Party, which received about 18 percent.

Will Belgium wait for a government for several months?

What does this mean for future governments? “The formation of a federal government will probably take several months,” the Belga news agency reported. According to the BBC, it is likely that the current coalition will not be able to maintain a majority.

The division of Belgium into three communities (the third – after Dutch-speaking and French-speaking – is a small German-speaking community), four regions (Wallonia, Flanders, Brussels and the German-speaking region) and the resulting political fragmentation make it usually very difficult to build a coalition that will elect a government.

In the coming months, talks between political forces will aim to form a coalition between the mostly right-wing parties in the Dutch-speaking north and the more left-wing parties in the French-speaking south, Reuters predicts.

European Parliament elections, the Prime Minister's party is lagging behind

Also in the European Parliament elections – according to preliminary results – the prime minister's Flemish liberals were disappointed.

The far-right Vlaams Belang won 13.96 percent, the liberal party Reformatory Movement (MR – Mouvement Réformateu) – 13.55 percent, the right-wing N-VA – 13.43 percent, CD&V – Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams – 8, 01 – percent, Socialist Party (PS – Parti Socialiste) – 8.00 percent, social democratic Vooruit – 7.63 percent, Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB – Parti du Travail de Belgique) – 5.98 percent, Groen – 5.95 percent, Christian Democrat Les Engagés – 5.57 percent, Open VLD – 5.48 percent, PVDA – 4.88 percent, ECOLO – 3.93 percent, DéFI – 1.13 percent.

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Belgian political adventures

Forming a Belgian government is often a challenge. For example, between December 2018 and October 2020, Belgium did not have a normal government for 652 days. The country was then ruled by a provisional government. This broke the previous record of the longest post-election period in Belgium without a government, which in 2010-11 amounted to 541 days.

At the same time, in Belgium there are many comments that this is proof that a federal state with broad regional competences can function well without a federal government in the transition period.

In the previous term, the ruling coalition was formed by several parties. On the Dutch-speaking side, it included CD&V (12 seats), Open Vld (12 seats), Vooruit (9 seats) and Groen (8 seats), and on the French-speaking side, PS (19 seats), MR (14 seats) and Ecolo (13 seats). mandates). This gave the coalition a total of 87 seats in the 150-seat chamber.

The opposition parties included: N-VA (24 seats), Vlaams Belang (18 seats), PVDA-PTB (12 seats), Les Engages (5 seats), DeFI (2 seats) and two independent parliamentarians.

In the elections, 150 members of the House of Representatives were elected in 11 multi-member constituencies, each with between four and 24 deputies depending on the district's population. Seats are allocated using the D'Hondt method, with an electoral threshold of 5%. per constituency.

All Belgian citizens over 16 years of age are obliged to vote. Non-Belgian citizens living in the country (regardless of EU citizenship) cannot vote, but Belgian citizens living abroad are entitled to vote.

BBC, PAP, tvn24.pl, Belgium

Main photo source: James Arthur Gekiere/Zuma Press/Forum

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