Ruling parties to meet with Wilmès in Belgian government formation puzzle
Wednesday, 17 June 2020
The presidents of the three parties that make up the current Belgian government are due to meet with Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès on Wednesday as the struggle to form a new Belgian government continues.
The currently governing parties consist of the country’s two liberal parties – MR and Open Vld – and the Flemish Christian-democrat party (CD&V).
Wilmès’ minority government was granted special powers to deal with the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, and those powers expire on 27 June.
With that in mind, the leaders of both the francophone and Dutch-speaking socialist parties (PS and sp.a respectively) consulted with the ten parties associated with the special powers on how to form a new federal government and prepare a stimulus package.
The socialist leaders – Paul Magnette and Conner Rousseau – found no way to form a majority coalition and have instead proposed a so-called ‘classic tripartite,’ consisting of the liberal, socialist and Christian-democrat parties on both sides of the language border. The three parties in power are due to discuss this plan on Wednesday.
Such a tripartite would still not have a majority and would have to rely on other parties in Parliament, but they would prepare a plan to relaunch the economy by 17 September, at which point Wilmès would once again ask Parliament for a vote of confidence.
The presidents of CD&V and Open Vld have remained silent since Magnette and Rousseau presented their plan to the Prime Minister on Monday.