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    King Philippe meets party leaders after election results

    King Philippe will charge a political leader to form a federal government. Credit: Belga

    With the vote-count in polling stations across the country finalised, King Philippe of Belgium has started to meet with Belgian political party leaders, in accordance with his constitutionally-mandated role of tasking one political leader to form a federal government.

    The first to meet with the Belgian monarch was outgoing Prime Minister Charles Michel, the leader of liberal Mouvement Reformateur (MR) party, who spoke to King Philippe at around 11:30 on Monday.

    Following their meeting, an official statement from the Royal Palace said the king had instructed Michel to “continue attending to current affairs.”

    After meeting with the current head of government, Philippe received the outgoing president of the Senate, Jacques Brotchi (MR), as well as the outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) member Siegfried Bracke.

    The King is next expected to meet Bart De Wever, whose right-wing, nationalist NV-A party scored the biggest win in Sunday’s federal election, garnering 16% of the vote.

    De Wever has previously said that he will not agree to a government coalition which has no clear Flemish majority.

    After seeing De Wever off, the Belgian monarch is expected to meet with the leader of the Parti Socialist (PS), Elio di Rupo.

    The socialist’s score of 9,5% landed them in the third position, behind the far-right, Dutch-speaking Vlaams Belang (VB) party, which came in second after capturing 11.09% of the vote.

    No information about a meeting with a leader of the VB is available on the official royal website.

    Gabriela Galindo 
    The Brussels Times