Power switch on Maunday Thursday

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Yves Leterme (Flemish Christian democrat) will take over as Prime Minister from Guy Verhofstadt as originally planned

Guy Verhofstadt (Flemish liberal) has announced that he would resign as Prime Minister on March 20 (Maundy Thursday.

The news in the daily Gazet Van Antwerpen has been confirmed by Mr Verhofstadt's spokesman. That Yves Leterme (Flemish Christian democrat) would take over as Prime Minister from Guy Verhofstadt as stated in a government declaration, in which Leterme was to form a definitive government and take over the leadership by 23 March.

PM Verhofstadt confirmed his intention to leave before Easter at a meeting of party chairs Monday evening. On Maundy Thursday Mr Verhofstadt will pass the torch on to Yves Leterme. Leterme can then go to the King with his team of ministers to be sworn in, and his government declaration is planned to take place in parliament that Thursday afternoon.

PM Verhofstadt emphasises that he intends to honour the promises he made when he agreed to step in as interim Premier to put an end to the political impasse the end of last year.

Good news regarding Leterme's health?

Yves Leterme is still in Leuven University Hospital. He was admitted to hospital for treatment of gastro-intestinal bleeding last Thursday. He was in the intensive care unit until Sunday morning. PM Verhofstadt visited him Sunday afternoon, and he was reportedly doing much better. The fact that the power switch has been confirmed suggests that Yves Leterme will be fit for the task.


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