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  • Belgian Elections: 13 June 2010
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Author Topic: Belgian Elections for Parlement and Senat  (Read 2308 times)


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Location: Belgium
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« on: 13 June 2010, 08:49:06 »

again we have to vote...it's getting a hobby in Belgium  cry

info on the previous elections: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Belgium

read these quotes to get an idea how complicated things are in Belgium  hdbng
and be asured, our problems won't end today with these elections, I foresee many years of problems ahead  waa

Belgium to hold new elections 13 June
By Simon Taylor

Fears for country's EU presidency

Belgium will hold elections on Sunday, 13 June, Yves Leterme, the outgoing prime minister announced last night.

Albert II, Belgium's king, accepted Leterme's resignation on 26 April after the government collapsed on 22 April when Open VLD, a Flemish liberal party, pulled out of the government because of failure to find a solution to the issue of voters' rights in Brussels and surroounding districts.

Belgian politicians have been struggling for years to resolve the issue of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde, a single electoral district comprising the capital and two adjoining communes, where francphone voters have more rights than their Flemish counterparts. Francophones can decide whether to vote for francophone or Flemish parties while Flemish voters in the district have no choice.

A Belgian court has ruled the current arrangement unconstitutional and has ordered the issue to be resolved before the next elections. But the break-up of the government last month has eliminated any chance of finding a solution in time for new elections.

Belgium takes over the rotating presidency of the EU's Council of Ministers on 1 July and there is concern that if a new government is not in place in time it could affect the management of the presidency.

Belgian King Albert II accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Yves Leterme's five-month-old government yesterday (26 April), plunging the country into a crisis as it prepares to assume the rotating presidency of the EU.
The monarch asked Leterme, 49, to stay on in a caretaker capacity, the palace said in a short statement four days after the coalition collapsed over a standoff between Dutch- and French-speaking parties.
The king had tried to defuse the situation over the weekend, consulting with party leaders and asking Finance Minister Didier Reynders, a French speaker, to try to mediate and break the impasse over a dispute between French and Flemish speakers over language and political rights. Reynders asked to be discharged on Monday.
Unless the king comes up with a new initiative, Belgium appears headed for an early election before the next scheduled one in 2011.

That could throw into chaos Belgium's preparations for its six-month presidency of the European Union, due to start in July.
Leterme, who has now stepped down twice in three years, said in a written statement that he regretted a negotiated solution had not been found.
"While waiting for initiatives from the head of state, the government will continue to ensure effective monitoring of current affairs in the interest of the country and citizens," the statement said.
Economists are concerned that political paralysis in the country of 10.6 million people could harm efforts to bring its national debt back below 100% of gross domestic product.
GDP fell 3% last year and is likely to grow a modest 1% in 2010. The budget deficit for this year is put at 4.8% of GDP.

In an interview with the French-language state broadcaster, Mark Eyskens, a former prime minister, warned: "If we have a deep political crisis, we could find ourselves in a similar position to Greece. We have a debt of over 100% [of GDP] that we must finance."
Some Belgian media have already begun questioning the value of keeping their 180-year-old country together.
Leterme tendered his resignation on Thursday (21 April) after the Flemish liberal party, Open VLD, withdrew from his government.
Open VLD said it had lost faith in the coalition because of its failure to resolve a dispute between French- and Dutch-speaking parties over electoral boundaries around the capital, Brussels - a complex and extremely divisive issue.
To complicate matters further, the Constitutional Court has said a solution must be found before elections can be held, leaving politicians to debate whether an election could go ahead as well as blaming rivals for the crisis.
(EurActiv with Reuters.)

Election front-runner pushes breakup of long-divided Belgium
Wednesday, June 9, 2010

GHENT, Belgium – The front-runner in Belgium's elections this weekend is running on perhaps the ultimate in divisive proposals: the nation's breakup.

The defacement of a sign in a Flemish town near Brussels illustrates Belgium's split along linguistic lines, one of the country's long-standing social, cultural and political divisions.
Despite its status as the home of the European Union, Belgium has long struggled with divisions between its 6 million Dutch speakers and 4.5 million French speakers, but until recently, talk of a breakup has been limited to extremists.
Now, Bart De Wever of the centrist New Flemish Alliance is pressing for exactly that. What once seemed a fantasy of the political fringes suddenly has, in the mouth of a man seen as a possible prime minister, taken on an air of plausibility.
"We are in each other's face," he told 800 party faithful ahead of Sunday's vote. "And together we are going downhill fast."

De Wever's party is forecast to win 26 percent of the vote – way up from 3.2 percent in 2007. That means his party will probably emerge as the biggest in Parliament with the right to try to cobble together a coalition government. However, he is unlikely to get other mainstream parties to vote for a Belgian breakup.
That is why De Wever seeks no immediate split but advocates a gradual and orderly breakup of Belgium to punish Christian Democrats, Liberals and Socialists for three years of political gridlock that has prevented them from addressing Belgium's urgent economic problems.
"We have become two different peoples," said Jean-Marie Dedecker, head of a Flemish party. "We are socially and culturally divided. We don't read each other's newspapers. We don't watch each other's TV programs."
The consequences of a precedent-setting split would be felt elsewhere. Wealthier regions in Spain and Italy also have campaigned for independence.
Robert Wielaard,
The Associated Press

The Flemish municipalities of Hal and Affligem in the Brussels area have banned the display of French-language election posters during the campaign for the 7 June European and regional elections in Belgium, signalling that the political crisis in the region is far from over.
In Halle, a Flemish municipality 20km south-east of Brussels, the local authorities have decided that only Dutch-speaking parties can display their posters on the electoral billboard space.
In Affligem, a municipality also situated in the Flemish Brabant, 20km west-north-west of Brussels, the authorities decided to cover posters in French with white paper.

Belgian law requires municipalities to provide political parties with billboard space to display their posters in the month preceding the elections.
Nevertheless, the municipalities of Merchtem, Beersel, Kapelle-op-den-Bos, Machelen, Ternat, Meise and Grimbergen, which are all in the Brussels area, said they would not provide billboard space, in order to "eliminate" French-language posters from the urban landscape.
Meanwhile, the authorities of Steenokkerzeel, Ternat and Grimbergen are distributing stickers to be displayed on mailboxes, requesting that "only Dutch flyers are accepted".
The French-speaking centrist party CDH condemned what it called "this new blow on the basic rights of the French-speaking population in [Brussels] periphery".

Answering a question asked in the Flemish parliament, Flemish Interior Minister Marino Keulen explained that displaying posters was free and not governed by linguistic legislation.

Brussels is a majority French-speaking city, but its periphery is Flemish. The 100,000 or so French speakers who live there enjoy special privileges, like being able to cast their ballot in the bi-lingual electoral district of Brussels-Hal-Vilvorde (BHV).
But Dutch-speaking parties oppose this privilege and have called for the district to be split into separate Brussels proper and Flemish municipalities. In a sign of protest against the bilingual electoral district, several Dutch-speaking municipalities have decided to boycott the EU elections (EurActiv 10/02/09). This decision could end up in court unless the Belgian government finds a solution, European Commission sources have said.

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