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Flemish separatists leading polls as Belgian vote looms

Backers of independence for Flanders from Belgium are on track to win Sunday’s general election in the northern Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, a new poll showed on Thursday.

Bart de Wever’s N-VA party, which wants near-total autonomy for comparatively wealthy Flanders, scored 24.4 percent on voting intentions in the survey published by L’Avenir newspaper.

That gives the N-VA a five-point lead over caretaker prime minister Yves Leterme’s Christian Democrat CD&V party, whose rating improved slightly to 19.4 percent.

In the French-speaking, southern territory of Wallonia the socialists have a comfortable lead, according to the survey which polled 2,000 people by telephone last weekend.

With 34.2 percent, the party’s leader Elio Di Rupo could become Belgium’s first francophone premier for more than 30 years should coalition negotiations go as experts anticipate.

However, the poll also found that 53 percent of Walloon voters and 42.6 percent of Flemish remain undecided.

Different parties field candidates in Belgium’s respective linguistic communities.