Liberals accuse Vilvoorde Mayor of breaking his word

The formation of a new coalition in the Flemish Brabant town of Vilvoorde appears to be further away as ever after the liberals have expressed objections at the way in which the town’s socialist Mayor has treated the greens. The socialists and greens went into the municipal elections on 14 October as a cartel and won 13 of 35 council seats.

Of those elected on the progressive cartel list 10 are socialist and 3 are greens. However, Vilvoorde’s incumbent socialist Mayor Hans Bonte has refused to offer the greens an Alderman’s post in the new coalition that he hopes to form with the liberals (8 seats) and the Christian democrats (5 seats).

The greens have since opted to leave the cartel, choosing instead for 6 years of opposition on Vilvoorde Council.      

However, Mr Bonte’s action have not pleased the second biggest party on the council, the liberals. The liberals’ leader in Vilvoorde Jo De Ro (photo below) ccuses Mr Bonte of having broken his word. The liberals say that they won’t be involved in any further negotiation on the formation of a coalition until 11 November.  

"This is not a good way to start. The way in which Mr Bonte has side-lined the green constitutes a breach of his word”, Mr De Roo told VRT News.

Mr De Ro believes that that Vilvoorde doesn’t need political gamesmanship. Consequently he has decided to suspend his party’s participation in the coalition talks until 11 November.

"We expect that we will get around the table to discuss content”.  

The big question is whether Mr De Roo has simply pressed “pause” or more is afoot.