An interim government is nigh

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Guy Verhofstadt has succeeded in the breakthrough to form an interim government, more than 6 months after the elections

21 December 2007 - The Flemish Christian democrat (CD&V) and liberal (Open VLD) parties and Francophone Christian democrats (CDH) and socialists (PS) are holding party congresses Thursday evening to confirm their participation in an interim government. The only party not holding a congress is the Francophone liberal MR, which has already decided it would definitely take part in the interim government

The breakthrough in negotiations to form an interim government came Tuesday night.

This is when the Francophone Christian democrats finally agreed to join the Francophone liberals and socialists and the Flemish liberals and Christian democrats in an interim government led by the outgoing Federal Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt (Flemish liberal).

The new government is expected to be sworn in on Friday.

Mr Verhofstadt is also expected to lay out the intentions of the interim government in an address to the Federal Parliament on Friday afternoon.

Parliament are due to debate the contents of the address on Saturday before holding a vote of confidence on Sunday.

Verhofstadt persuaded Milquet

An interim government seemed as far away as ever on Tuesday when Joëlle Milquet's Francophone Christian democrats pulled out of the talks.

However, the Flemish Christian democrats and the Francophone socialists wanted the Francophone Christian democrats to be part of any interim government.

Furthermore, their support would be necessary to obtain the two-thirds majority required to get constitutional reform measures through parliament.

In the end it was Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt that persuaded the party to join the interim government.

The leadership of the Francophone Christian democrats met in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The party's chairwoman Joëlle Milquet emerged from the meeting at around 2:15am and told waiting journalists that her party would be joining the interim government.

The interim government will address urgent matters such as the rise in food and fuel prices.

It is hoped that a permanent government led by the Christian democrat Yves Leterme will take office by next Easter.


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