The cdH (Centre Démocrate Humaniste) party adopted a new identity at a congress held on Saturday at Tour & Taxis in Brussels, changing its name to “Les Engagés” (The Committed Ones) and adopting turquoise as its new colour, instead of orange.
The centrist party also approved a new project based on the concept of “regeneration,” Belga News Agency reports, while a draft manifesto presented at the meeting will come up for adoption at a follow-up congress on 14 May, following discussions and amendments by the base.
Saturday’s meeting capped a two-year participatory exercise held under the theme of “Il fera beau demain” (The weather will be fine tomorrow) and begun in January 2020.
Attempting to reframe the party's position
The exercise was meant to overhaul the party after its crushing defeat at elections in 2019, when it became the fifth force in Francophone politics with just five seats in the Chamber, 10 in Wallonia and five in Brussels.
The revamped party sees itself as a “participatory citizens’ movement that breaks with existing political practices and projects” in the French-speaking community.
Les Engagés will be “resolutely centrist and progressive,” party leader Maxime Prévot said in an address to the congress. “Society clearly lacks direction,” he added, promising “a citizens’ alternative to the simplism, extremism, and populism that corrode our democracy.”
“Sovereignty,” “well-being,” “rehabilitation” of the middle class, and “reindustrialization,” are among the key words figuring in the draft programme presented by Prévot, which advocates, for example, guaranteeing an income of 600 euros for all, ensuring the participation of everyone in the common good, and overhauling education to arrive at a “single, harmonized and autonomous network.”
The party estimated that “over 1,300 persons” attended its congress, including many non-members. The latter made up “a quarter of the room,” according to Prévot.