Elections 2018 – Just over 130,000 foreign nationals register for municipal polls
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    Elections 2018 – Just over 130,000 foreign nationals register for municipal polls

    © Belga
    © Belga

    As at the 28th of July, 130.649 non-Belgians had registered to vote in municipal elections on the 14th of October, according to data obtained from the Ministry of the Interior on Tuesday. Potential electors of foreign origin had until today, Tuesday, to register to exercise their right to vote at the municipal elections. In 2012, a total of 141,397 had done so by the 1st of August.

    Of those who had registered by the 28th of July, 112.382 appeared to be nationals of European Union (EU) countries other than Belgium. They represent 15.03% of those who could have done so. A total of 18,267 non-European citizens, 9.37% of potential electors in this group,  had registered by Saturday last.

    The total number of electors in the country is 8,111,288, but this figure could increase slightly in the next few hours.

    Some 120,826 Europeans (18.5%) and 20,571 non-Europeans (14%) registered for the polls in 2012, when the total electorate was 7,966,698.

    The number of registered electors who are foreign nationals is slightly higher in Wallonia and Brussels than in Flanders. The rate of registration was slightly higher for EU nationals than for other foreigners.

    Without including the German-speaking Community, 23.46% of EU nationals and 10.59% of third-country nationals registered in Wallonia. In Brussels 13.04% of EU citizens and 12.9% of non-Europeans registered, while the rates for Flanders were 10.1% and 6.23% for EU- and non-EU nationals respectively.

    The municipalities with the highest numbers of registered non-Belgian European electors were Ixelles (3,894), Brussels City (3,709), and La Louvière (3,489).

    The highest numbers of registered non-EU nationals were in Schaerbeek (1,846), Brussels City (1,423) and Antwerp (1,036).

    Andy Sanchez
    The Brussels Times