Belgium’s liberal parties will not govern without each other
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    Belgium’s liberal parties will not govern without each other

    MR President Georges-Louis Bouchez

    The liberal parties MR and Open VLD will not join a coalition government without each other, their leaders said in a joint interview published on Saturday in La Libre Belgique and Het Nieuwsblad.

    “It’s impossible because we are on the same page,” Open Vld President Egbert Lachaert said, noting that the ties between the two parties “are stronger than ever”.

    “We defend the same values and are now one and indivisible,” MR President Georges-Louis Bouchez added.

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    Their remarks came amid talk of a possible alliance between the MR, the right-wing N-VA, Belgium’s two Socialist Parties (PS and sp.a), and the Flemish Christian-Democrat party (CD&V).

    “A deal has to be found with the entire liberal family,” Bouchez said. “We respect the socialist family and do not ask for it to be split in two. We are asking for the same respect.”

    Both leaders also came out in favour of joint participation in federal discussions rather than individual meetings.

    The two parties are scheduled to draw up a joint election programme on the future of Belgium, which will be presented to both the Dutch-speaking and French-language communities.

    The Brussels Times