Far-right leader wants to do everything possible to break into power
Monday, 27 May 2019
Vlaams Belang President Tom Van Grieken wants to do everything possible to break the 'cordon sanitaire'. Credit: Wikipedia
Vlaams Belang President Tom Van Grieken wants to do everything possible to break the ‘cordon sanitaire’, he said on Radio 1 on Monday morning: “We received a mandate from the voter. I would be remiss if I didn’t try today to do everything I could to achieve it.”
Van Grieken’s party expected to make progress but not in such a way. “This exceeds our highest expectations. With 13 or 14%, I would have been a happy president,” he told De Ochtend the day after an election that saw the far-right party win 18.5% of the votes in Flanders.
The ‘cordon sanitaire’ is a Belgian political practice established in two stages in 1989 and 1992 between the Flemish political parties, at the initiative of the Flemish environmentalist leader Jos Geysels, aimed at excluding far-right political parties from any political majority.
“When you see this score, you cannot hide behind the cordon. I must do everything in my power to break it,” said Van Grieken. “The population is sick of the cordon. If you ignore this signal from the voters, you are not a democrat,” he added.
Van Grieken says he is ready to put “water in his wine” for government negotiations, but not on the “crucial points”. He reached out again to the N-VA, but agreed to discuss with everyone in principle.