Charles Michel wants to stop as PM from the beginning of November

The Prime Minister in Belgium’s caretaker Federal Government Charles Michel (Francophone liberal) has said that he wants to quit his post at the beginning of next month. This would give him time to prepare for his new position as the President of the European Council that he will take on from 1 December. The Francophone liberal MP Sophie Wilmès has been rumoured as a possible successor as caretaker PM. This would make her Belgium’s first ever woman Prime Minister, albeit of a minority caretaker government.    

After earlier changes to the composition of the caretaker federal government that came about as a result of ministers moving to pastures new, two key figures are set to leave very shortly. The Prime Minister Charles Michel’s mandate as European Council President begin on 1 December. Meanwhile, Mr Michel’s Francophone liberal colleague, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders is set to become European Justice Commissioner.

Although Mr Michel’s new post doesn’t start until 1 December, he wants to take time to prepare, not least because there is a European summit planned for December and he will be in the chair. Mr Michel is now looking for a suitable replacement. If the multi-lingual Sophie Wilmès is chosen, she would become Belgium’s first female PM. However, there are other scenarios imaginable and the post might go to a politician from one of the other federal coalition parties.

Given the rate at which the steps towards the formation of a new federal government are advancing, how long the new caretaker PM would remain in office is anybody’s question.