The swear-in of Belgium’s new Senate will see a wave of newcomers take the oath for the first time, bringing new voices to the lower chamber of the federal parliament, as 50 senators settle in for the new legislative term on Thursday.
Over half of the total number of senators are first-timers, brought into the assembly’s chambers during the elections in May.
Flemish representatives will hold the most seats in the chamber, as the region’s parliament is set to send in 29 senators. The Parliament of the French Community will have 10 senators, while the Walloon Parliament is set to have 2.
With one and two representatives each, respectively, the German-speaking Community’s Parliament and the French Community Commission of Brussels will have the smallest groups, according to Bruzz.
Only 15 veteran lawmakers are set to take the oath along the numerous fresh-faces. Among those reelected figure the CD&V’s Peter Van Rompuy and the right-wing, nationalist N-VA’s Philippe Muyters. Far-right Vlaams Belang (VB) representative Yves Buysse is also set to renew his oath.
By contrast, the ranks of Groen (greens), PVDA (labour) and CDH (Christian-Democratic) will be made up only of newcomers.
The biggest formations in the Senate belong to the N-VA and to the Groen-Écolo coalition, which will claim 9 seats each. The next biggest groups are the VB, the Francophone Parti Socialiste (PS), and the Francophone liberals of Mouvement Réformateur, with 7 seats each.
Lastly, the CD&V, the Dutch-speaking liberals Open Vld and PDVA will have 5 seats each, while the Dutch-speaking socialists sp.a and CDH have 2 seats each.
The swear-in Thursday is set to start at 15:00. It will be followed by a second ceremony on July 12, during which co-opted senators, who are elected by their peers, are set to take the oath as well.