Foreigners vote law set to divide MPs
3 February 2004
BRUSSELS – The Belgian parliament on Tuesday began what is set to be a heated debate over government plans to allow non-EU foreigners to vote in local elections here.
Several of the country’s key Flemish parties, including Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt’s Flemish Liberal Democrats (VLD) and the far right Vlaams Blok, are openly hostile to the plans.
VLD President Karel De Grucht has even warned that his party may be forced to pull out of Belgium’s coalition government if the government’s plans are approved.
The latest opinion polls are encouraging for supporters of the new law however. They show that in Flanders, where opposition to foreigners voting rights has been strongest, a small majority of people is now in favour of the government’s proposal.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news