Nicolas Maeterlinck

The party leaders of the Flemish and Francophone liberals and the Flemish Christian democrats to lead coalition talks

The leaders of the three parties that make up the incumbent minority federal government have been given the task of trying to form a new federal government. The leaders of the Francophone and Flemish liberals and the Flemish Christian Democrats began a meeting with the Federal Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès to discuss the next step in the attempts to form a new government at 12 noon on Wednesday. 

The talks on the formation of a new federal coalition were put on hold as addressing the corona crisis took precedence on the political agenda. However, this changed a couple of weeks ago when the leaders of the Francophone and Flemish socialists started a round of exploratory talks with the 10 patties that re supporting the minority federal government during the corona crisis.

On Tuesday the socialist parties’ leaders suggested the formation of a government made up of the traditional political families (liberal, socialist, Christian democrat) from both sides of the linguistic divide. This would mean that the Francophone Christian democrats and the Flemish and Francophone socialists would join the current coalition. However, with 71 of the 150 seats this expanded coalition too would not command a majority in the Federal Parliament.  

The Flemish socialist leader Conner said that it would have a “relative majority” as other parties would be able command a “counter majority” against it unless they were able to work simultaneously with both far-right Vlaams Belang and the hard-left PVDA-PTB+.

The coalition of “traditional” parties would have to find support for measures it wished to take from the opposition on a case by case basis. The socialist leaders’ idea wasn’t received with much enthusiasm by the parties that make up the incumbent minority federal government.

Now their leaders have taken over the initiative to try and form a new federal government. The Francophone liberal leader Georges-Louis Bouchez says that he hopes that a new federal coalition can be formed before 21 July (Belgium's national day).

Two of three party leaders Joachim Coens (Flemish Christian democrat, photo above) and  Georges-Louis Bouchez (Francophone liberal, photo above) have already tried (and failed) to get coalition talks on the rails. It is now a question of what and see as to whether the addition of the new Flemish liberal leader Egbert Lachaert (photo below) into the conundrum will make their effort more successful.

Nicolas Maeterlinck

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