No municipal cabinet place for the greens in Vilvoorde

Despite them having stood on the same progressive cartel list as him in the municipal elections, the Mayor of the Flemish Brabant town of Vilvoorde Hans Bonte (Socialist) has said that there is no room for the greens in Vilvoorde’s new city cabinet. The new city cabinet will only contain alderman from Mr Bonte’s socialist, the Christian democrats and the liberals.

The leader of the Flemish greens Meyrem Almaci says that Mr Bonte’s decision is “shocking”. The greens in Vilvoorde are currently considering their position and it would appear pretty much certain that they will be in the opposition for the next 6 years.

Mr Bonte reached an agreement with the liberals and the Christian democrats on a new coalition during the weekend.       

The socialists and the greens stood on the same lists at the municipal elections on 14 October. The progressive cartel list was the clear victor and it was left to Mr Bonte to form a coalition for the coming 6 years.

The liberals let it be known that they wished to remain in coalition and Mr Bonte decided to drop the Flemish nationalists in favour of the Christian democrats. The new coalition (if the green councilors are included) has a very comfortable majority of 26 out of 35 councilors.

The socialist will get the Mayor and three aldermen, the liberals three alderman and the Christian democrats one alderman.

Speaking on Sunday Mr Bonte critcised the greens for the way in which he believes they disproportionately benefit from progressive cartel lists.

In Vilvoorde the greens have three of the thirteen seats won by the progressive cartel, while the socialists have ten.

Speaking on Monday morning, the leader of the Flemish greens Meyrem Almaci (photo below) slammed Mr Bonte’s decision that she described as “shocking”. She said that she had expected different behavior from another progressive politician. The greens in Vilvoorde are now deciding what their next step will be. However, given the circumstances it seems unlikely that they will join the new coalition, but rather opt for the opposition benches.