11 May 2005
BRUSSELS – Belgium’s Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt is reported to be on the verge of seeking a vote of confidence from parliament to prevent the breakdown of his government.
Public radio station RTBF predicted Verhofstadt would go before Belgian MPs on Friday to ask for their support after visiting the king to talk about the continued stalemate over political representation in the electoral district Brussels-Hal-Vilvorde.
Verhofstadt had to make a move as a week’s reprieve granted by the parliament to settle the BHV issue expired without a deal.
The latest round of talks on Tuesday evening closed with the Spirit party reported to be refusing to accept Verhofstadt’s compromise plan.
On Wednesday, after Verhofstadt’s visit with the king, a palace statement was releasing, saying: “The king and the prime minister underlined how much, in the current circumstances, a political crisis would be unfortunate and seriously threaten the citizens’ economic and social well-being.”
The media predicted that Verhofstadt would win the vote of confidence, allowing him to remove the issue from the forefront of Belgian politics until after the next general election in 2007.
Spirit told the news agency AFP that it would remain in government – despite its rejection of Verhofstadt’s compromise – and would back the Prime Minister in the vote if members agreed with his statement.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news