Vlaams Belang has the most new-comers In Flanders the big winner of Sunday’s elections was the far-right Vlaams Belang. Consequently the party has the largest number of MPs that have been elected first the first time, 23 in total. Klaas Slotemans and Stefaan Sintobin have both been elected to the Flemish Parliament for the first time.
Meanwhile, Wouter Vermeersch, Annick Ponthier and the party leader Tom Van Grieken (who previously sat in the Flemish Parliament) have been elected to the chamber of representatives. The independent Dries Van Langenhove has also been elected to the Federal Parliament.
Mr Van Langenhove is the chairman of the right-wing youth movement ‘Schild & Vrienden. He is currently the subject of a criminal investigation after a VRT television documentary revealed that the leaders of Schild & Vrienden exchanged racist and discriminatory messages in a closed chatroom. At the European Parliament, Gerolf Annemans is joined by Patsy Vatlet and the former federal and Flemish MP Filip De Man.
Speaker Bracke not re-elected
Where there are winners there are also losers. The Flemish nationalists have 8 fewer members of the Flemish Parliament. Meanwhile, in the Federal Parliament, the Speaker Siegfried Bracke lost his seat in East Flanders.
The leader of the Flemish Nationalists’ youth wing Tomas Roggeman has been elected to the Chamber of Representatives for the first time. Elsewhere, Johan Klaps, Koenraad Degroote and An Capoen all lost their seats. In the European Parliament Mark Demesmaeker lost his seat. Newly-elected to the European Parliament for the nationalists is the women’s rights activist Assita Kanko.
The former Francophone liberal Ms Kanko joined the Flemish nationalist in December of last year. The outgoing Flemish Prime Minister Geert Bourgeois is also among the party’s three MEPs.
Christian democrats lose key figures
The Christian democrats lost 8 seats in the Flemish Parliament and 6 seat in the Chamber of Representatives. This has resulted in a number of key figures not being re-elected. These include Dirk De Koten and Ward Kennes in the Flemish Parliament.
Griet Smaers, Roel Deseyn, Sonja Becq and Walter De Donder all failed to get re-elected to the Chamber of Representatives. The outgoing Federal Deputy Kris Peeters and Cindy Franssen (both new) will represent the party in the European Parliament. The former VRT journalist Ivo Belet lost his seat.
Liberals lose big names
A number of well-known names are among the Flemish liberal politicians to have lost their seat. Among them are Jo De Ro and Rik Daems in Flemish Brabant and Fransesco Vanderjeugd in West Flanders that failed to be elected to the Flemish Parliament.
The party’s losses in the federal elections claimed the scalps of Dirk Van Mechelen and Luk Van Biesen and meant that Veli Yüksel, who had recently joined the party from the Christian democrats failed to get elected. The ‘Sex in Class’ presenter Goedele Liekens has been elected to parliament for the first time.
Former party chairman fails to get elected for the greens
Although the greens faired generally well, the party’s former leader Wouter Van Besien failed to get elected to the European Parliament.
Newcomers include Chris Steenwegen from the conservation group Natuurpunt, the Vilvoorde (Flemish Brabant) deradicalisation officers Jessica Soors are among the new green faces in the Flemish Parliament. Anne Dedry and Ingrid Pira were not elected to the Chamber of Representative.
It’s all change for the Flemish greens in the European Parliament with Bart Staes failing to be re-elected after 20 years as an MEP and Petra de Sutter being elected for the first time.
Few new names among the Flemish socialists
Given the party’s poor performance in Sunday’s elections it comes as no surprise that they few new Flemish socialist faces have been elected. Connor Rousseau was elected to the Flemish Parliament.
Jinnih Beels failed to get elected and the long-serving MP and Mayor of Vilvoorde Hans Bonte was not re-elected
Breakthrough for the far-left
The far-left PVDA has MPs elected to the Flemish Parliament for the first time. The party’s leader Peter Mertens is among those elected to the Chamber of Representatives.
The far-left party now has a total of 12 federal MP that were elected in Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.