Share article:

    Little enthusiasm in Flanders for snap elections

    © Belga
    The President of the Flemish Conservative-Liberals, Gwendolyn Rutten, says that a snap election would only cause more chaos.
    © Belga

    The majority of the Flemish political parties are not in favour of a snap federal election, while King Philippe is due to start political consultations on Wednesday. The presidents of the Flemish Christian Democrats, the Flemish Conservative-Liberals, the Alternative Socialists and Groen (the Flemish Greens) indicated on Wednesday morning that they do not favour a snap election taking place. Federal, regional and European elections are scheduled for May. No party is envisaging a new federal government being in place during this time period.

    The President of the Flemish Conservative-Liberals, Gwendolyn Rutten, says that ordinarily such elections should serve to resolve a given problem, but in this case would only cause more chaos. John Crombez (Alternative Socialists) believes that parliament can work with a government subject to the current state of affairs. At the same time, Groen’s Meyrem Almaci wishes progress on certain parliamentary business, despite the Prime Minister’s resignation. She added, “We have no fear of elections, but three in eight months is a bad idea.”

    Wouter Beke of the Flemish Christian Democrats also prefers a government that maintains the current status quo, which is able to collaborate with parliament as a whole. He went on, “There are parties such as the New Flemish Alliance who would like voters to go to the polls twice. The question to ask is ‘Can anything happen between now and May?’ As a party, we are ready to assume our political duties.”

    Gwendolyn Rutten denied that her tweet precipitated Charles Michel’s resignation, a theory supported by both the French-speaking and Flemish socialists. “My intention was never, and I am definite about this, to put in place a left-wing government,” she said. In her view, these parties never intended to cooperate with each other.

    The New Flemish Alliance has indicated that the snap elections should not be considered as a risk to political stability. The leader of the group in the Flemish parliament said the last three weeks have been chaotic, and that a new election now could avoid a four further months of chaos.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times