King Filip appoints duo to disarm political adversaries

Filip, King of Belgians, has designated Johan Vande Lanotte and Didier Reynders as the politicians that he wants to explore the political landscape after the general election.

Johan Vande Lanotte is a privy councillor and prominent member of the Flemish socialist party.  Mr Reynders, a Francophone liberal, is the outgoing foreign minister.  The two men have been appointed as "informateurs".  Their job is to inform the king on which possible coalitions could form the new Belgian government.  The king isn't taking a laid back approach to the problem.  Today is a public holiday.  Still the king took time out to meet the two seasoned politicians at the palace in Brussels. King Filip expects a first report by 6 June.

In recent days the Belgian head of state has been taking soundings from all party leaders.

The formation of a new government isn't expected to be easy as several parties have expressed strong reservations against adversaries.

Both Mr Vande Lanotte and Mr Reynders have served as informateur on previous occasions.