Waiting game on figures over non-EU voters

28th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 July 2006, BRUSSELS — As the 31 July deadline looms for non-EU nationals to register as voters for the October local elections, it was announced on Friday that definite figures over the number of registrations will not be available until mid-August.

28 July 2006

BRUSSELS — As the 31 July deadline looms for non-EU nationals to register as voters for the October local elections, it was announced on Friday that definite figures over the number of registrations will not be available until mid-August.

But initial figures indicate that a disappointing small number of long-term foreign residents in Belgium have decided to vote at the municipal elections.

Figures released earlier this week indicated just 5.48 percent of the eligible non-EU voters in Flanders have bothered to register with electoral authorities. Wallonia has also reported a poor result.

Flemish Interior Minister Marino Keulen said definitive figures will not be available until mid-August, some two weeks after the 31 July registration deadline.

Registrations will first need to be officially approved in every municipality by the executive council, which is made up of the region's mayor and aldermen and alderwomen.

The figures will then need to be entered into the population register.

Non-EU nationals who have legally lived in Belgium for five years and agree to respect Belgian law can vote at the local elections for the first time this year.

The controversial 2004 federal legislation was hotly contested, especially in Flanders.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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