Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Another short note on Belgium

Here is some additional information on the election in Belgium (I wrote an article about it for AiP):

In Wallonia, the Parti Socialiste did not become the biggest party for the first time in modern history, only collecting some 11 percent of the vote. A corruption scandal in Charleroi is one explanation, but from what I understand the PS is suffering from a bad image in general (symbolizing old power, a stagnating economy, etc).

After the scandal in Charleroi, the liberal party MR broke with PS, and MR became the biggest party in Wallonia, collecting some 12,5 percent of the vote.

In Flanders, the SP.a and their ally SPIRIT (a small, liberal party to the left of center) only got some 10 percent of the vote. That is five percentage points lower than in 2003 and Johan Vande Lanotte, party leader of the SP.a, has already resigned.

The big election winner was the Christian Democratic party in Flanders; CD&V. Their leader, Yves Leterme, will probably become new Prime Minister and the new government will probably not include PS or SP.a anymore (they were both part of the outgoing government).

The green parties in Wallonia and Flanders went from four to twelve mandates in total. The extreme party Vlaams Belang became the second biggest party in Flanders (unfortunately), but the Front National in Wallonia only got one mandate.

My own take on this? I guess serious post-election debates are needed in both PS and SP.a, and in parallel there will be a discussion on the political future of the nation called Belgium. Just as always.



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