Jonas Hamers / ImageGlobe

Belgium on the road to fresh elections?

As Belgium struggles to form a new federal government nearly seven months after the 26 May poll Deputy Premier David Clarinval (Francophone liberal) has identified two options for Belgium’s political class: a Liberal/Socialist/Green coalition including Flemish Christian democrats or fresh elections.  Mr Clarinval is clearly ruling out any format that includes Belgium’s largest party, the Flemish nationalist N-VA.

Liberals, Socialists and Greens have a slender majority, though not in Flanders.  In an interview with several Francophone dailies the liberal supremo speaks of including the Flemish Christian democrats in the interests of stability. Mr Clarinval also warns that N-VA leader Bart De Wever threatens to become the trailblazer of a Liberal/Socialist/Green coalition because of “his eagerness to make himself isolated”.

Mr Clarinval’s words have raised eyebrows after King Filip entrusted his party leader Georges-Louis Bouchez with the job of examining all formats including one that involves the N-VA. The Francophone liberal Walloon Prime Minister Jean-Luc Crucke on Friday insisted that it first needed to be established whether or not the N-VA and the Francophone socialists could work together.