Deputy PM Kris Peeters won’t take his seat on Antwerp City Council
The Flemish Christian democrats’ Deputy Prime Minister in the Federal Government Kris Peeters has announced that he won’t be taking his seat on Antwerp City Council. Mr Peeters headed the Christian democrat list for the municipal elections in October.
Despite having a big name at the head of their list the Christian democrats won just 2 of the 55 seats. During the next 6 years the Christian democrats will be in the opposition as the new city coalition is made up of nationalists, socialists and liberal. As well as having been elected for to city council, Mr Peeters was also voted onto the district council. Antwerp is unique in Flanders in that the city is subdivided into 9 districts.
The district councils are responsible for local policy regarding (for example sport, youth and culture). The Deputy Prime Minister won’t be taking a seat on the district council either. He says that he has decided not to sit as he want to give younger members of his party the chance to gain political experience.
Despite not taking his seats on the city and district councils, Mr Peeters plans to carry on living in Antwerp and not return to Puurs (Antwerp province) where he had lived for many years. He hopes to play a more active role in reviving his party’s fortunes in the city.
Mr Peeters told VRT Radio 2 Antwerp that efforts will be made to provide the party in Antwerp with a new dynamic in Antwerp. He added that he intends to help is party colleagues provide constructive opposition to the new municipal coalition.
Mr Peeters will head the Flemish Christian democrats’ list for the European elections in May.