23 June 2004
BRUSSELS – Belgium’s far-right Vlaams Blok party, which did well in regional elections earlier this month, is preparing itself for a makeover, various newspapers reported Wednesday.
Among other measures, the extremist party plans to propose that the Blok’s president be directly elected and it also intends to rewrite its manifesto.
A potential name change is also in the works.
In April, a court in Gent convicted three non-profit associations (ASBLs) affiliated with the party of violating anti-racism legislation.
Party president Frank Vanhecke said the court ruling is prompting the party to seek ‘new legal pursuits’ and he has launched an appeal against the decision.
An appeals court is to rule on the matter in November.
If it sides with the Gent ruling costs, then the Vlaams Blok risks being cut off from state funding.
Meanwhile, the party may omit the reference to all immigrants returning to their home country in its official platform.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news