Voters in Bilzen (Limburg) go to the polls in re-run of the municipal elections

Voters in the Limburg municipality are going to the polls today to elect a new municipal council. The municipal vote is being re-run after the Council of State declared the initial vote on 14 October last year to be invalid due to a number of irregularities.  

In the three weeks since the regional, federal and European elections the political parties have invested a lot of resources into the campaign in Bilzen.   

Bilzen’s former Mayor Johan Sauwens on whose complaint the Council of State acted is up against the municipality’s current Mayor Bruno Steegen.

The Flemish nationalists have a new name at the head of their list with Wouter Raskin replacing Frieda Brepoels as first candidate. Johan Danan heads the greens’ list, Guy Swennen heads the local Bilzen Bruist list and Annick Ponthier head the far-right Vlaams Belang’s list for today’s municipal election.

Ms Ponthier will be hoping to capitalise on her party’s success in the elections on 26 May. In October’s municipal elections Vlaams Belang polled 9% of the votes. However, in the elections for the Flemish Parliament three weeks ago the party got 21.3% of the votes in Bilzen, just 0.7% less than the Flemish nationalists that were the biggest party.      

Elections too in Neufchâteau.

Voters in the Walloon municipality of Neufchâteau (Luxembourg province) are also voting today in a re-run of the municipal election.

There too last October’s result was declared invalid by the Council of State due to complaints about electoral fraud involving proxy votes.