Mathias De Clercq to be Ghent’s new Mayor

A month and half after the municipal elections agreement has been reached for the formation of a new coalition in the East Flemish city of Ghent. The new Mayor will be the liberal Mathias De Clercq. He will be joined in the city cabinet by 9 Aldermen, two fellow liberals, 4 greens, two socialists and one Christian democrat.  

Although the liberals emerged from the elections as the biggest single party in Ghent, the socialist/green list had more seats. 

The Aldermen

The liberals: Christophe Peeters will be Alderman with responsibility for Culture and urban development. The liberal Sofie Bracke will be responsible for Economy, Finance and small business.  

The four green Aldermen included are Elke Decruyenaere (Education) Filip Watteeuw (Transport and public works). The greens will also be responsible for social housing in the city.  

The two socialist member of the city cabinet will be Rudy Coddens and Astrid De Bruycker. They will be responsible for social policy, citizen participation and green policy. The chair of the council will also come from the socialists. The Christian democrats will have one Alderman. Mieke Van Hecke will be responsible for the City Registrar   

The new coalition agreement provides for 90 million euros of investment in social housing and traffic plans for Ghents various suburban centres.  

The leader of the Flemish Wouter Beke has congratulated his party colleague Mieke Van Hecke on becoming the first Christian democrat for 30 years to secure a seat on the city cabinet in Ghent.   

Meanwhile, the woman that headed the Flemish nationalist list at the local elections Anneleen Van Bossuyt has congratulated Mr De Clercq and said that she intends to provide critical, but constructive opposition over the next six years.