Federal government: no formal formation talks in the offing

Former Flemish PM Geert Bourgeois (Flemish nationalist) and former Walloon PM Rudy Demotte (Francophone socialist) have reported to Filip, King of Belgians, on their efforts to kick-start formal formation talks for a new federal government.  King Filip is now considering his next move.

It is understood that Mr Bourgeois and Mr Demotte have failed to make sufficient progress for the next step of the formation process to start and for formateurs to be appointed.  King Filip will now consult political leaders on what should happen next.  The head of state is meeting with the Flemish nationalist and Francophone socialist leaders, Bart De Wever and Paul Magnette, in the course of the evening.

There have been contacts between Belgium’s two largest parties, the Flemish nationalists of N-VA and the Francophone socialists of PS, but insufficient common ground has been detected to launch formal formation talks. In many ways the two parties defend opposite positions.  The Flemish nationalists favour turning Belgium into a confederation, which the PS rejects.  It is understood that the N-VA would like to see efforts to form an anti-N-VA coalition fail first, because it believes only then will the PS be more amenable in talks with the N-VA.

Belgians last went to the polls on 26 May 2019 and since then a minority caretaker administration has governed the country.