King Filip has accepted the resignation of N-VA ministers

PM Charles Michel says that he is going to attend a UN gathering in Marrakech on the UN Global Compact on Migration on Monday despite opposition from his Flemish nationalist coalition partner, the N-VA.  His decision backed by the three other government parties and a resolution of the Belgian parliament sounded the death knell for the first Michel cabinet.

N-VA ministers say that by taking this step Mr Michel is turning them out of the government.

Mr Michel insists that the decision to approve the Global Compact was taken a long time ago and that the N-VA went back on its word.

"I will attend the UN conference in the name of the Belgian government and defend Belgium's position”.

Mr Michel insists that the N-VA walked out of Saturday's extraordinary cabinet meeting on the Compact.

"I have taken note of the clear position of the N-VA and the fact that the N-VA is leaving the coalition with the Flemish and Francophone liberals and Flemish Christian democrats”.

The PM intends to propose that two junior ministers assume the powers of the N-VA ministers leaving the government.  The PM intends to consult parliament after his return from Marrakech.

By noon PM Michel had set off to the palace to tender the resignations of N-VA ministers and propose his new team to King Filip. King Filip promptly accepted the resignation of N-VA ministers and appointed two new ones.

Mr Michel intends to continue in office at the head of a minority government of Flemish and Francophone liberals and Flemish Christian democrats until the 26 May poll.

Who will take over from the N-VA ministers has become clear.  Pieter De Crem (Flemish Christian democrat) becomes interior minister.  Alexander De Croo (Flemish liberal) is the new finance minister.  Didier Reynders (Francophone liberal) will double as  defence and foreign minister.  Maggie De Block (Flemish liberal) becomes the new asylum minister, while Philippe De Backer (Flemish liberal) takes over at telecoms and slashing red tape.   

Former cabinet minister Johan Vande Lanotte (Flemish socialist), who is a lecturer in  national constitutional law, notes that the new government cannot take any important decisions as long as it hasn't won a vote of confidence in parliament. Approving the UN Global Compact on Migration, however, should not be a problem, the privy councillor wrote on Facebook.