'The populists are on the lookout': DéFI proposes measures to 'restore confidence' in Belgian politics

'The populists are on the lookout': DéFI proposes measures to 'restore confidence' in Belgian politics
DeFI's leader Francois De Smet. Credit: Belga / Hatim Kaghat

Centrist French-speaking political party DéFI has published a "charter of good governance and transparency" and sent it to the leaders of Belgium's other major Francophone parties, with the overarching aim of "restoring confidence in the political world".

The document, which was published on Sunday and consists of 25 concrete proposals, calls for the reduction of the number of elected representatives in the Brussels Parliament (from 89 to 60) and the abolition of the privileged tax regime for Belgian parliamentarians.

It also demands full transparency on the financing of foreign trips by Belgian politicians and a review of the finances of Belgium's main political parties, among other measures.

In an accompanying press release, DéFI emphasised that it "urges other democratic political formations to make the same commitments".

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"We think that we need not less, but better politics, and a better state," the party added. "We believe that democracy is a precious asset and we believe that political groups must be paid in a correct way, to guarantee their independence from the lobbies."

"We need an electric shock, we need the political world to evolve and reaffirm, not by words but by actions, its sense of the state and the common good," stressed the president of DéFI, François De Smet. "There is an urgent need to restore trust with citizens so that we can, together, continue to be a society."

De Smet subsequently reiterated his party's proposals on Sunday on the set of RTL-TVA as part of a debate devoted to the recent scandals implicating Belgian politicians. "The populists are on the lookout," he warned.

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