Re-run of municipal election in Bilzen on 16 June

Voters in the Limburg municipality of Bilzen will go to the polls again on 16 June to elect a new municipal council. A re-run of the municipal elections in Bilzen is necessary as irregularities were found with the counting of the votes after last October’s municipal vote. The decision to hold the election on 16 June was taken at a meeting of Bilzen Council on Tuesday evening. 

Previously the Council of State had ruled that a number of small irregularities had occurred when the votes were counted after last year’s local elections. These could have influenced the distribution of seats between the parties and as a result of this new elections were required. The municipal council has decided that these should take place on Sunday 16 June.

The council looked into whether this time voting computers could be used rather than traditional ballot papers. However, the Flemish Interior Agency said that this wouldn’t be possible.

The Christian democrat Johan Sauwens that had reported the counting irregularities said that while it was regrettable that election had to be re-run it was also essential given what had gone on. Mr Sauwens was criticised by members of the parties that make up the current municipal coalition.  They said that he had always been against voting computers in the past and that he had spread untruths about last October’s municipal election.