Belgium

Separatist party polls strongly in Flanders

Reuters

The separatist New Flemish Alliance (NVA) party won the largest share of the vote in the Dutch-speaking Flanders region in Belgium’s general election on Sunday, according to initial projections. The result would be unprecedented for a party that is in favour of eventually becoming independent from the Francophone region of Wallonia.

Advertising

Voting was obligatory for the 150 parliamentary seats in the country of 10.5 million people, 60 per cent of whom are Flemish.

Once all the ballots are counted, political parties in Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels will begin trying to form a new coalition government in a country where there are no national parties.

The early elections were necessary because the previous coalition of Flemish Christian Democrat Yves Leterme crumbled in April. Indeed, because of regular disagreements between French- and Flemish-speaking communities, there have been three prime ministers and four governments since the last general election.

Belgium, which is home to the European Union headquarters in Brussels, is set to assume the rotating EU presidency next month.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning