"Election lists don't reflect society at large"

Belgium's Minorities Forum says that too few members of the ethnic minorities occur on election lists for the forthcoming European and regional elections on 7 June. The organisation has scrutinised the election lists of the most important Flemish parties.
Ten percent of the Flemish population belongs to an ethnic minority. The percentage of people from ethnic minorities on election lists is far lower.

European lists perform better than lists for the regional elections.
Nine and a half percent of candidates on European election lists hail from the ethnic minorities.

Nine percent of candidates on lists for the Brussels Parliament hail from the ethnic minorities. In Flanders the figure is four percent.

The Flemish socialists have most minority candidates followed by the ecologists, the liberals, the Christian democrats and the Flemish independence party.

Thirty-eight percent of ethnic minority candidates have roots in the Maghreb, while twenty-nine percent are of Turkish descent.

The Minorities Forum that groups ethnic cultural organisations in Brussels and Flanders says progress has been made in comparison with previous years.

This year there are 74 minority candidates compared with 46 in 2004.

The Forum believes it will take some time before the make-up of election lists reflects society at large.