Mr Chastel will head the Francophone liberals list for the European Parliament.
Olivier Chastel announced that he was stepping down after Monday morning’s party council meeting. It was also announced that none other than the Prime Minister Charles Michel would lead the party into the federal, regional and European elections in 26 May.
In a statement Mr Chastel said that “I want to concentrate fully on the European campaign and will not continue my mandate as party leader”. Mr Michel led the Francophone liberals from 2011 to 2014. He stepped down when he became Prime Minister. Charles Michel will head his party’s federal election list in Walloon Brabant.
In some other countries such as the UK it is quite normal that a party leader is also the Prime Minister. However, in Belgium with our system of coalition governments this is highly unusual as the Prime Minister is supposed to act in the interest of the country rather than his (or her) party.
However, the Ghent University professor of politics Carl De Vos told VRT News that “We are in exceptional times with a caretaker government”.