Latest attempt to form federal government excludes Belgium’s biggest party
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    Latest attempt to form federal government excludes Belgium’s biggest party

    Credit: Belga

    Egbert Lachaert, the chairman of the Open VLD party and the 12th person appointed by the King to find a solution for Belgium’s federal government puzzle, is officially trying for a coalition without the country’s biggest party.

    On Wednesday, Lachaert informed Bart De Wever, chairman of the Flemish rightwing N-VA party, that he is officially going for a Vivaldi coalition, in other words: one without N-VA, Belgium’s biggest party, reports VRT.

    A Vivali coalition received its name because its four components are thought to represent the composer’s Four Seasons: red for socialists PS and sp.a; blue for liberals MR and Open VLD; green for ecologists Ecolo and Groen; and orange for Christian democrats CD&V.

    “The Vivaldi route is currently being investigated. We are talking to parties of goodwill to see whether it is viable. If this would not work, other routes are still open,” the liberals told Het Nieuwsblad.

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    The way is now open for these parties to form a government, but it is not yet clear if CD&V will bite. A purple-yellow government (made up of socialists, liberals, and N-VA), however, is not out of the question if an agreement for a Vivaldi coalition cannot be reached this time either.

    Earlier this year, a previous attempt at such a coalition already stumbled when the parties failed to find sufficient common ground.

    Lachaert’s aim to form a federal government this way has been clear for some time now, and the socialists and greens are reportedly on the same track.

    The question remains whether CD&V also wants to join the coalition, as it would mean letting fo of N-VA. On Wednesday, CD&V chairman Joachim Coens was the first to see Lachaert’s detailed note, but it is not yet clear how he and his party will react to it.

    On Friday, Lachaert is expected at the Royal Palace to report on his progress. What happens after that is not clear yet and will largely depend on CD&V’s stance.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times