Prime Minister Alexander De Croo won’t be attending Question Time in Parliament on Thursday, sparking anger from the far-right Vlaams Belang party, which has said he should be there to “explain himself and the new measures.”
De Croo will be replaced by Minister of Public Health Frank Vandenbroucke in Parliament, as he will be attending the EU summit between the member states’ leaders.
"If he is able to give press conferences and introduce such painful measures, then he can also have the respect to come and explain them. I don't think that this European summit is more important,” said Vlaams Belang’s group leader Barbara Pas.
She found out the Prime Minister would not be attending Parliament when she submitted a question to him for Question Time.
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“As long as the Prime Minister doesn’t explain himself, the plenary session of the Parliament cannot start as far as we are concerned. If Prime Minister De Croo thinks that he and his government are above democracy, it is our duty to call him to account,” Pas added.
Following the Consultative Committee on Wednesday, De Croo announced Belgium would be taking a number of strict additional measures for four weeks to combat the rapidly rising coronavirus figures, which includes the closing of schools, hairdressers, and beauty salons.
“A Prime Minister who rules via ministerial decisions and press conferences and bluntly sidelines parliament and the opposition is unseen and unheard of", said Vlaams Belang chairman Tom Van Grieken, who wants to demand his presence.
According to Vlaams Belang, De Croo’s absence is a form of 'contempt' towards the parliament.
The Brussels Times