June 13, 2010

BELGIUM, WE HARDLY KNEW YE:

Flemish separatists' win puts coalition on hold: Party that wants to split Belgium won a parliamentary election, a result that could complicate efforts to form a coalition that can deliver reforms of the state (Reuters, Sunday 13 June 2010)

A party that wants to split Belgium won a parliamentary election tonight, a result that could complicate efforts to form a coalition that can deliver reforms of the state and tight budgetary control. Projections and early results showed the Flemish separatist N-VA (New Flemish Alliance), which advocates the gradual dissolution of Belgium, was to be the largest party in Dutch-speaking Flanders and the country. [...[]

Even if he does win the most votes, N-VA leader Bart De Wever will not be able to start devolving powers to the regions immediately.

The electoral system – effectively two elections with separate parties seeking votes from French-speakers and the majority Dutch-speakers – means at least four parties will be needed to form a governing coalition.

Parties from the poorer French-speaking regions are nervous about any form of devolution, seeing it as a step towards the break-up of the country, which they oppose.

This is the first federal election from which a party advocating the end of Belgium could emerge the winner, although the N-VA were allies of the Christian Democrats in 2007.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 13, 2010 5:36 PM
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