Sophie Wilmès becomes Belgium’s first female prime minister
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    Sophie Wilmès becomes Belgium’s first female prime minister

    Sophie Wilmès will replace Charles Michel as Belgium's prime minister. Credit: © Belga

    The Francophone liberal party’s Sophie Wilmès became the first woman in Belgium to hold the title of prime minister, after being appointed by King Philippe to head the current caretaker government.

    Wilmès, will replace Charles Michel, after he announced his intention to step down as premier in order to prepare to take up his role as European Council president.

    “Thanks to all those who expressed their enthusiasm and support for this new role,” Wilmès wrote on Twitter. “The road will not be easy but my will to work for the benefit of all remains intact.”

    Wilmès, who headed the federal Budget ministry throughout the previous administration, was received by the king on Sunday.

    She was charged with “continuing overseeing current affairs,” as the formation of a new federal government continues to stall, following the results of the May federal elections.

    Wilmes, 44, broke into politics in 2000, after she became a councillor in Uccle, a southern municipality of Brussels and one of the wealthiest in the region.

    As a replacement for Wilmès, King Philippe named fellow MR party member David Clarinval as Minister of Budget.

    As the efforts to form a federal government, ongoing for months, continue, government formators are set to present a new report to the king by 4 November.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times