CD&V warned against Flemish Interest coalitions
17 March 2006, BRUSSELS — Flemish Premier Yves Leterme has warned Christian Democrat CD&V colleagues they will be expelled from the party if they enter into a coalition with extreme right Flemish Interest after October's local elections.
17 March 2006
BRUSSELS — Flemish Premier Yves Leterme has warned Christian Democrat CD&V colleagues they will be expelled from the party if they enter into a coalition with extreme right Flemish Interest after October's local elections.
All those who carry our logo will not enter an administrative coalition with people from the Flemish Interest. If they do that, then we have lost our logo. Let that be clear," he said on Thursday.
Leterme was responding to comments in recent days from several CD&V mayors who have criticised the 'cordon sanitaire' in which mainstream parties agree to exclude the Flemish Interest from public office.
Schoten Mayor Harrie Hendrickx sparked discussions on Monday when he said he would consider entering a coalition with the Flemish Interest if he could not form a city council majority with the Liberal VLD. In the days that followed, a group of mayors backed Hendrickx' statement.
"We must first decide as a party what we want. We impose conditions on every party to enter a coalition. Why don't we do that with the Flemish Interest?" MP and CD&V Peer Mayor Theo Kelchtermans said.
Former government minister and current CD&V Roeselaere Mayor Luc Martens said he is not about to turn his back on the Flemish Interest either. He pointed out that Leterme also entered into talks with the Flemish Interest after the regional elections. "What is the problem then?"
In response, Leterme admitted he had met the Flemish Interest and confirmed that their policy was directly opposite to that of the CD&V. He said party representatives are not banned from talking to people, but entering into administrative accords is a totally different matter.
"I have very clearly drawn that line," he said.
And what happens if CD&V mayors enter into a coalition with the Flemish Interest after the 8 October local elections to maintain their majority?
"The only choice for us will be to declare they are no longer CD&V mayors. We have waged a debate within the party over the cordon sanitaire and have taken a decision. Everyone must abide by that," Leterme said.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news