Wallonia and French Community unveil new ‘rainbow coalition’ governments
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    Wallonia and French Community unveil new ‘rainbow coalition’ governments

    The new regional government and the government of the French-speaking Community will be lead by a coalition of liberal, green and socialist parties. Credit: © Belga

    After over a hundred days of sluggish negotiations, party leaders announced a three-party coalition would helm the regional governments of Wallonia and of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.

    Former federal prime minister and the Parti Socialist’s (PS) leader Elio Di Rupo will return for a third term as Minister-President of Wallonia, leading the regional government’s so-called “rainbow coalition” with his party and with the French-speaking greens (Écolo) and liberals (MR).

    Since 1999, a government led by socialist, liberal and green parties in Belgium has been dubbed a rainbow coalition, in reference to that led by former Belgian premier turned MEP Guy Verhofstadt.

    Di Rupo’s comeback to regional politics will see him step back from the federal government formation, still ongoing, with socialist Jean-Claude Marcourt set to take his place at the negotiating table, according to De Morgen.

    The new formation fell largely in line with media expectations, with the PS clinching social affairs, the greens getting climate, mobility and environment portfolios, and the liberals set to oversee the budget, industry and commerce.

    Wallonia

    The MR’s Willy Borsus will step down from his current role as minister-president of Wallonia to become Di Rupo’s Vice-President, and will also lead the economics, foreign trade, research, urban planning, digital development, and agriculture portfolios.

    The liberals will also put forward Jean-Luc Crucke as regional minister of budget and finance, airports and sports infrastructure, with Valérie De Bue set to become minister of civil and child services, road safety, tourism, heritage and administrative simplification.

    The socialist party’s Christie Morreale, also named regional Vice-President, will lead the ministries for jobs, social action, health and equality, while party colleague Pierre-Yves Dermagne clinched the governance and housing portfolios.

    Écolo’s Céline Tellier was named regional minister for nature, the environment, animal well-being and rural renovation, and the party’s Philippe Henry was appointed to lead the climate ministry and will also oversee mobility, infrastructure and energy policy.

    Wallonia-Brussels Federation

    The MR’s Pierre-Yves Jeholet’s was appointed to lead the Brussels-Wallonia Federation, also known as the French Community of Belgium, which is competent for education, culture, sport and public health policies in the federation.

    The liberal party appointed newcomer Valérie Glatigny to lead the federation’s higher education, scientific research, youth and sport portfolios.

    The PS’ Frédéric Daerden will be in charge of the budget, civil service and equal opportunities, while the party chose veteran MP Caroline Désir to manage compulsory education, while the culture, media, childcare, health and women’s rights portfolios went to Écolo’s Bénédicte Linard.

    The new coalition took their oath on Friday at the Élysette, the regional government’s seat in the city of Namur, according to Le Soir. Di Rupo is expected to come to Brussels in the course of the day to take the oath before King Philippe and to unveil the coalition’s agreement to the Chamber.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times