Voting for local elections in Flanders no longer compulsory
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    Voting for local elections in Flanders no longer compulsory

    Around 10% of Belgians remain at home during elections. Credit: Wikipedia

    The new Flemish government has decided that voting for local and provincial elections in Flanders will no longer be compulsory.

    Belgium is one of the few remaining countries where voting is still compulsory, but around 10% of Belgians stayed at home during elections, reports Het Laatste Nieuws. Officially, people who do not go to vote risk a fine of €40 up to €80, but in practice, people rarely get fined.

    Party voting, where voters could vote for the entire party instead of one person, for local and provincial elections will also disappear. Flemish municipalities will now also use the Walloon system, in which the candidate with the most votes from the biggest party in the coalition will become mayor.

    Voting for the Flemish and federal Parliamentary elections will remain compulsory.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times