The task of Geert Bourgeois (N-VA) and Rudy Demotte (PS), the ‘preformateurs’ appointed by King Philippe on 8 October, will not be extended after they failed to help form a federal government by Monday 4 November.
The two preformateurs have to report to the King on Monday afternoon, but it has been made clear that their assignment will not be extended. It is expected that the King will start holding a new round of consultations to see how the federal negotiations can be restarted properly, reports De Standaard.
“Defending the party programme and respecting the commitments to the voters: that is the essence of democracy,” said Paul Magnette, President of the Walloon socialist PS, on Twitter on Monday morning. “Those who have caused the social and political crisis in which we find ourselves today, should be the first to know that,” he added.
Défendre son programme, respecter les engagements pris face aux électeurs, c’est l’essence même de la démocratie. Ceux qui ont causé la crise sociale et politique dans laquelle nous nous trouvons devraient être les mieux placés pour s’en souvenir.
— Paul Magnette (@PaulMagnette) November 4, 2019
As preformateurs, Bourgeois and Demotte were given the task of “examining the concrete basis for the formation of a federal government around their respective parties, together with the four other parties (MR, Open Vld, CD&V and sp.a) involved in the discussions.”
If the preformateurs did not succeed in forcing a breakthrough for the formation of a purple-yellow government (a coalition between the socialist, liberals and Flemish nationalists) by Monday 4 November, another coalition will have to be found.
However, the party programmes of the biggest parties on both sides of the language border are very far apart. Statements made by leaders of both parties, saying that it would be impossible to form a coalition with the other did not help to build trust, reports Het Nieuwsblad.
There is a total lack of clarity as to how to proceed, De Standaard was told by various negotiators. The King will probably organise a new consultation round in the coming days to see what possible next steps can be taken. It is a possibility that forming a purple-green government (a coalition between the socialists, liberals and greens) will be attempted next.
The Brussels Times