Belgium 'sex strike' suggested to thaw political freeze

9th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

In the homeland of surrealism, a Belgian senator is suggesting a "sex strike" until feuding politicians from the Dutch-speaking north and French south agree to form a government.

With Belgium about to hit eight months without a government, Socialist politician Marleen Temmerman told AFP her call this week "to have no more sex until a new administration" is formed is stirring interest.

A hospital gynaecologist involved in health projects in Africa, she came up with the idea while in Kenya, where women called a sex ban in 2009 to demand a political solution "and within a month a deal was done".

"When a situation is dire and nothing is moving, either you become a cynic or you react with humour," she said.

"Here the situation is unacceptable, something had to be done, people are angry," she added.

As Belgium heads towards the dubious record of becoming the world's country longest without a government -- currently held by Iraq in 2009 at 289 days -- citizens are increasingly pressing the politicians to compromise.

Last month 35,000 protestors took to the streets for a Facebook-organised march and star Belgian actor Benoit Poelvoorde called on men not to shave until the country got a government.

Temmerman was in Kenya when the actor's "grow a beard" campaign launched.

"The men loved it and that was when Kenyan women reminded us about their sex strike," she said.

"I don't think many women are going to practise abstinence, or that it will have an effect, but it is better to laugh," she said.

As for herself? "My husband's in Kenya at the moment so it's easy."

© 2011 AFP

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