Rachid Azaoum, Belgian entrepreneur and former delegate general for Les Engagés in Brussels, has left to join French-speaking liberal party Mouvement Réformateur (MR), the party announced on Thursday.
“My political commitment is the continuity of an entrepreneurial and associative career. In all my activities, I fight for youth employment, to promote access to entrepreneurship and greater civil liberties. MR is the party that best represents those values,” Azaoum stated in a press release.
Les Engagés was formed in March 2022 with the dissolution of the Centre Démocrate Humaniste. The party sits in the opposition on all levels of government in Belgium.
In Brussels, the party is in decline with two MPs defecting within the space of a few months. On 10 October 2022, Virginie Lefrancq, a Brussels MP, left the party, stating that she felt politically orphaned. Lefrancq now sits as an independent.
MR leader Goerges-Louis Bouchez has reacted positively to the defection, stating that Azaoum “perfectly embodies our social project: the values of work and efforts. There is no such thing as destiny. This is also the reason why Rachid became an executive delegate for economic redeployment in Brussels.”
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Azaoum operates several franchises of fast food chains Quick and Burger King in Belgium. He is also involved in numerous business associations in the capital and is director of the Brussels Enterprises Commerce & Industry chamber of commerce.
“The recent past and the arrival of Rachid prove that the reformist movement (MR) is also the ‘Unifying Movement.’ We will continue to convince people in Brussels and throughout the country that our social project is the most credible,” Bouchez concluded.