Belgium warned that new elections could be inevitable by September
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Belgium warned that new elections could be inevitable by September

Credit: Belga

Elections cannot be avoided if there is no government by September, Flemish House Christian-democrat leader Servais Verherstraeten told Bel RTL on Thursday.

September will be “a very important political moment,” Verherstraeten said, as it marks the end of the confidence placed in Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès’ minority government.

Verherstraeten said again that the parties currently in government (Verherstraeten’s CD&V and Belgium’s two liberal parties, MR and Open Vld) want to form a majority government.

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The parties had rejected the plan of socialist leaders Paul Magnette (PS) and Conner Rousseau (sp.a) to form a minority government in which they would be joined by both socialist parties and the francophone Christian-democrats (cdH), forming what is known as a ‘classic tripartite’.

“The country has had a few minority governments but their life has not been very long,” Verherstraeten said.

A majority is “more than an option, it is the basis of democracy to pass laws,” CD&V deputy Hendrik Bogaert told LN24 on Thursday morning.

For Verherstraeten, a majority government is still possible. “There is enough talent to overcome the differences,” he said, stating his preference for a government with PS and the right-wing N-VA, the two biggest parties on either side of the language border. “All parties must put water in their wine.”

Parties cannot afford to argue all summer long, according to Bogaert. “We have to act now,” he said.

Getting to the point of new elections would be “irresponsible and a sign of the incredible egocentrism of a political class,” Bogaert said, underlining that “the results will be worse than the polls. We’ll end up with a completely polarised society.”

The Brussels Times