Belgian Prime Minister hopes for full-fledged government by September

Belgian Prime Minister hopes for full-fledged government by September
Prime Minister Wilmès hopes for a full-fledged government by September. © Belga

Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès is hoping for a full-fledged government by September and hopes the government’s current special powers will not have to be renewed, she told Flemish newspaper De Zondag on Sunday.

Wilmès is at the head of a so-called caretaker government, which normally cannot introduce any new legislation, but was granted special powers in March to be able to combat the new coronavirus (Covid-19) adequately.

The special powers granted for three months to Wilmes’ minority government expire in June. Not having to renew them “would mean that the situation is no longer critical,” she told the Flemish newspaper.

“These special powers are not very democratic,” Wilmès said. “If they are not necessary, they should not be extended. I even hope they won’t be,” she added.

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Regardless, the Prime Minister will “continue as long as it takes. This government had confidence for six months, until September. I hope that a real government will be formed by then. Then I will no longer have to ask for trust,” she added.

The Prime Minister also said she would not exclude “any coalition.” In the same newspaper, N-VA leader Bart De Wever repeated his wish to start negotiations with the francophone socialist party (PS) as soon as Wilmès’ special powers have expired. “It’s the only possibility for a strong government,” he said.

Belgium has not been able to form a full-fledged government since the last federal election on 26 May 2019, when Flanders voted to the right, with the far-right Vlaams Belang as the biggest winner, while the left-leaning PS was the first choice in Brussels and Wallonia.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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