NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

Voting underway in the regional, federal and European elections

At 8am this morning voting got under way in the regional, federal and European elections. More than 8 million Belgians have a vote. In Belgium those entitled to vote are bound by law to a least turn up at the polling station. Those that fail to do so can be fined.

In addition to the Belgians that will be voting for their representatives in the regional (and in 9 German-speaking municipalities language community) parliaments, the Chamber of Representatives and the European Parliament, citizens of EU countries that have registered to do so will be able to vote for Belgian candidates for the European Parliament. Like Belgian voters they too are obliged by law to turn up at the polling station.

In today’s elections 150 members of the Chamber of Representatives, 124 members of the Flemish Parliament, 75 members of the Walloon Parliament, 89 members of the Brussels Parliament (17 Flemings and 72 Francophones), 25 members of the Parliament of the German Language Community Parliament and 21 members of the European Parliament are being elected.

Of the 21 Belgian MEPs 12 are Flemings, 8 are Francophones and 1 is a German speaker. Member of the Belgian Senate and the Parliament of the French Language are not directly elected. 

First results expected at around 3pm

The polls will remain open until 2pm in municipalities where voting is done in the traditional way using paper ballot slips and pencil. Those that cast their votes using voting computers have until 4pm to do so. The first results are expected at around 3pm.

The last results to be declared will be those for the European Parliament as some other EU countries will continue voting well into the evening. During the course of the day and the evening we at flandersnews.be will strive to keep you up to date with all the very latest election news.