22 March 2005
BRUSSELS – The small Walloon town of Bouillon has been shocked by the suicide of its mayor, Guy Godart.
Speculation is rising that Godart, who turned 50 on 14 March, may have taken his life over accusations of drink-driving that appeared in the local press.
His body was found at home by a family member and an inquest has already been opened.
Tributes to the mayor are already flooding in, led by MR politician Dominique Tilmans.
“We have lost a great democrat who respected the ideas of everyone, who was congenial and conciliatory, and who left us in a moment of despair,” said Tilmans.
The reason for Godart’s suicide is unclear and it is not yet known if he left a note behind.
The Belgian press has put forward some suggestions as to why he may have taken his life.
As of ten days ago, the mayor no longer had a majority in the local council, and his gas business was also in difficulty, it has been reported.
But his suicide may also be related to an incident last week that was referred to in a press release by the local police union.
According to the press release, the secretary of the Bouillon commune was caught drink-driving and called Godart to come and pick him up.
When Godart arrived, he too was accused of driving under the influence.
However, the mayor was not breathalysed and no enquiry was opened.
While refusing to speculate about the reasons for his suicide, Tilmans said it was “inadmissible and scandalous” that the story had appeared in the press.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news