June 11, 2007


Belgian PM quits after poll defeat (Raf Casert, 12 June 2007, Associated Press)

Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt resigned yesterday after the collapse of his liberal-socialist government in weekend elections, opening the way for the surging Christian Democrats to broker a new coalition, and possibly a reform of the constitution.

As often, the parliamentary polls laid bare the differences between the 6 million Dutch-speakers from northern Flanders and the 4.5 francophones from southern Wallonia and the capital.

The Christian Democrats of election winner Yves Leterme dominated Flanders and the liberals of Didier Reynders reigned over francophone areas.

As of Monday, the big national debate centered on this: pressured by nationalist alliances and right-wing opposition parties, Leterme wants more autonomy for Flanders and sees a revision of Belgium's constitution as the only way.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 11, 2007 7:11 PM
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