Minister of State Philippe Moureaux dies aged 79

The former Minister and former Mayor of the Brussels Municipality of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek Philippe Moureaux (Francophone) has died aged 79. Mr Moureaux had been battling cancer and had been ill for some time.  

Philippe Moureaux was Mayor of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek for almost 20 years between 1993 and 2012. In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 in which a number of the perpetrators came from or had links to Molenbeek, Mr Moureaux was accused by some of having been too soft on law and order during his period as Mayor.

During the 1980’s and 1990’s Mr Moureaux served as a Minister in both Federal and Francophone Language Community Governments. He became a Minister of State in 1995. He was also Deputy-Chairman of the Francophone Socialist Party and the party’s leader in Brussels for many years. Mr Moureaux was involved in the negotiations for many of the rounds of state reforms that saw Belgium evolve from a unitary state to a federal country.

One of his other major achievements was the 1981 Anti-Racism Law that is called after him.    

In 2012 he was ousted as Mayor of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek by a coalition of liberals greens and Christian democrats. 6 years later on 14 October 2018, Mr Moureaux daughter Catherine won the municipal elections and is now Molenbeek’s Mayor (photo below). The last time that Philippe Moureaux was seen in public was a few days before the municipal election when, despite being gravely ill he joined his daughter in her campaign to become Mayor.