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    Belgians abroad: voting rights to include regional elections

    © Belga
    Belgian expatriates win the right to vote in regional elections.
    © Belga

    The Commission for the Parliamentary Constitutional Review yesterday (Wednesday) approved the special bill extending Belgians abroad rights to vote to regional elections. The MR said in a communiqué that it was delighted with this vote. For more than ten years, the Liberals have championed this extension of a right, which is already acknowledged, for federal and European elections.

    The MR considers that the difference in treatment according to election type falls to be anomalous.

    The head of the party, Denis Ducarme, underlined, “We were letting Belgian expatriates have an opinion on federal policy but not regional policy! This is absurd! All the more so since following the last state reform, the regions acquired new core competences, upon which citizens should have the right to express a view.”

    The MR anticipates the support of all parties to this particular text.

    Mr Ducarme added, “I never understood why some parties advocate the extension of the right to foreigners to vote in regional elections whilst refusing it for expatriate Belgians. This vote has never been backed up by a special majority during a parliamentary plenary discussion. This is complete and utter nonsense.”

    The head of the party mentioned the broad support for a recent text extending the vote for Belgians abroad to European elections to all expatriates, and not only those residing in the (currently) 28 states of the European Union.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times