'Why not?': N-VA leader Bart De Wever open to becoming Belgian Prime Minister

'Why not?': N-VA leader Bart De Wever open to becoming Belgian Prime Minister
Credit: Belga / Tom Goyvaerts

The Flemish nationalist leader Bart De Wever is open to becoming Belgium’s Prime Minister after next year’s elections and called for a “mini-government” to be formed.

He detailed his party’s plans for the upcoming federal elections in 2024 on Saturday to Het Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Nieuwsblad.

 “After 2024, we should go to a mini-government federally very quickly,” which would only be composed of the Prime Minister and their deputies. The government would then only “agree on some minimal targets” to work on, especially surrounding the national budget. 

These proposals fall in line with De Wever and his party’s wishes for another state reform which would hand over more powers and competencies to the country’s regions, instead of the centralised Federal Government which "is leading Belgium towards bankruptcy”.

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However, De Wever’s proposition could only occur if it is composed of “the largest parties of both communities”. If recent polls are to be believed, this would mean governing alongside the French-speaking centre-left party PS.

Such a partnership would not deter the N-VA’s leader, so much so that he has offered to lead it as Prime Minister. “Why not?” He told journalists, "I am actually willing to do anything if it is to put things in order (in Belgium).” A similar arrangement nearly happened at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic which would have seen both parties lead an “emergency government”.

De Wever was also asked whether his party would form a coalition with the Flemish far-right party Vlaams Belang at either the federal or regional level. While not explicitly rejecting the idea, De Wever did claim that “a vote for the far-right is completely useless” even if he understood electors’ grievances.

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