Federal government: De Wever I, or Di Rupo II?
Finding French-speaking partners will be tough for Bart De Wever in forming a federal government coalition
Tradition or change
It is up to the King to decide who makes the first move. N-VA is the obvious choice, but there is also a tradition that the prime minister is someone from the largest political family in the whole country. That is still the socialists, even after some loss for prime minister Elio Di Rupo’s French-speaking PS.
N-VA’s spectacular result in Flanders cannot be ignored, though. Leaving this party out from the start is impossible. But who wants to enter a coalition with De Wever? On the Flemish side, that would be CD&V and Open VLD, provided they get what they want on the Flemish level, too.
Finding French-speaking partners will be much harder, as they both fear and loath the nationalist N-VA’s programme and leadership. This explains De Wever’s rather moderate tone on election night. For the French-speaking liberals and Christian-democrats, entering an N-VA-led government is like dancing with the devil, carrying a risk of losing out in the next election. N-VA itself prefers a government without PS, but that might be harder to realise than one would expect.
Either way, N-VA has stated it wants to avoid “a long political crisis” – a repeat of the 2010 formation that lasted 541 days.
population of Belgium in millions of people, with 6.2 million living in Flanders.
number of state reforms that have resulted in the federal system as it is today.
number of years for which the federal House of Representatives and the Senate are elected.