Far right should not be excluded, says a majority of Flemish people
Tuesday, 28 May 2019
Belgium’s political scenario on Monday appeared as divided as ever. Credit: Belga
For 65% of the Flemish population, the ‘cordon sanitaire’ against Belgian far-right party Vlaams Belang, who emerged from the elections much stronger, can be broken.
This is according to a survey conducted the day after the elections on behalf of the Het Laatste Nieuws and VTM Nieuws.
The ‘cordon sanitaire’ is a Belgian political practice established in two stages in 1989 and 1992 between the Flemish political parties, at the initiative of the Flemish environmentalist leader Jos Geysels, aimed at excluding far-right political parties from any political majority.
The question of whether or not the cordon sanitaire will break with regard to Vlaams Belang is one of the most pressing issues, following its sharp increase in support on Sunday. According to the survey, 65% of Flemings believe that the answer to this question must be positive.
On the other hand, one third (31%) of respondents think that the cordon sanitaire should be maintained and four out of ten people think it is not desirable to leave the Belang in charge of the management of public affairs.
In the same survey, Vlaams Belang voters were asked about their motivation for choosing the extreme right-wing group. The issue of asylum and migration has been raised most often, in the face of discontent with traditional parties and government policy.