52pc of Brussels voters have ethnic ancestry

18th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

18 April 2006, BRUSSELS — A majority 52 percent of eligible voters in Brussels is of immigrant ancestry, a new study has revealed.

18 April 2006

BRUSSELS — A majority 52 percent of eligible voters in Brussels is of immigrant ancestry, a new study has revealed.

In Flanders, that percentage falls to 8 percent. In Wallonia, 16 percent of registered voters are of ethnic origin.

Sociologist Jan Hertogen said the foreign voters in Brussels include 28 percent of residents who have obtained the Belgian nationality in the past 25 years.

Some 24 percent of voters will register before 31 July for the October local elections.

Added together, 52 percent of voters for the local elections in Brussels are of ethnic origin, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Tuesday.

However, there are large differences noted between the city's communes.

In Molenbeek, half of the eligible voters is made up of naturalised Belgians who are compelled to vote.

But in Ganshoren, Watermaal-Bosvoorde, Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Oudergem and Jette, seven out of 10 voters are native Belgian.

Hertogen said in comparison with the 2000 local elections, half of the newly-registered voters are of foreign ancestry.

Non-EU nationals who have lived in Belgium for five years may vote for the first time in local elections this year. EU nationals are also allowed to vote.

Expats and immigrants without the Belgian nationality may not vote at the national elections.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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