11 June 2007
BRUSSELS – King Albert has accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt’s government. Albert will now call a meeting with the various party leaders to hold talks and appoint an informateur.
It became clear on Sunday night that Guy Verhofstadt would not be heading the new government. At 9.45 pm the prime minister said in his farewell speech that he “personally took responsibility for the result” of the election.
Verhofstadt had already said before the elections that he would either continue on as prime minister or accept a seat in the Senate. Serving as a minister under another prime minister was not an option.
The resignation means that the administration is now a caretaker government and may not introduce any new measures.
The next move must come from King Albert. He will most likely appoint an informateur soon to feel out the different parties on their views for the new government.
The government formation process promises to be very difficult. A combination of Christian democrats and liberals seems to be the most obvious coalition at the moment. But a two-thirds majority is needed in order to push through a constitutional amendment and a Christian democrat/Liberal coalition certainly does not have that.
Any serious state reform will require the participation of the Socialists in the new government. But Socialist figurehead Laurette Onkelinx has already said that the Walloon socialists are also considering a spell in the opposition for a while.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news