Former Co-Leader of Francophone Greens’ candidature for Constitutional Court job gets insufficient support from Senators

The former Co-Leader of the Francophone green party Ecolo Zakia Khattabi has failed to gain the support of two-thirds of the members of the Belgian Senate that were required for her to become a judge at the Constitutional Court. Ms Khattabi’s candidature received the backing of 37 Senators, 3 short of the 40 votes required. In the second vote she gained 38 votes, still short. The Francophone Green’s candidature came under fire from both the Flemish nationalists and the far-right Vlaams Belang. However, at least some liberal Senators also voted against her candidature in Friday morning’s vote. 

With the exception of the leader of the Francophone liberals Georges-Louis Bouchez all the members of the Senate were present at the vote. Ms Khattabi’s candidature received 37 of the 59 votes cast. The former Ecolo federal MP Fouad Lahasaini’s candidature was backed by 1 Senator. The result left Zakia Khattabi 3 votes short.   

In second vote Ms Khattabi she gained 38 votes, two short of the required two-thirds majority.  

Ms Khattabi was put forward by her party to succeed her party colleague Jean-Paul Snappe as a judge at the Constitutional Court. The vote should have been held in November, but was postponed for legal-technical reasons. The Speaker of the Senate postponed a vote on the candidature that was due to be held in December 2019 “Because the climate wasn’t serene enough”.  

Ms Khattabi has been criticised for not having any legal experience and for what some see as her “activist” behaviour.