2018 Belgian local elections
The Belgian provincial and district elections of 2018 took place on Sunday 14 October 2018. They are organised by the respective regions: Brussels with 19 municipalities Flanders with 5 provinces and 300 municipalities In the city of Antwerp, elections will be held for its nine districts Wallonia with 5 provinces and 262 municipalities In the German-speaking Community, the elections are organised by that community rather than the Walloon RegionIn the municipalities with language facilities of Voeren, Comines-Warneton and the 6 of the Brussels Periphery, the aldermen and members of the OCMW/CPAS council are directly elected. Although the laws governing local elections differ per region and per level, they are all similar, with all of the elections being held on the same second Sunday of October for a six-year term. Between the 2012 and 2018 local elections, elections were only held in May 2014, giving an unusually long period without elections in Belgium; the next European and regional elections will be held in May 2019, only a few months after the October 2018 local elections.
National political parties are separated by language community. A lot of municipalities have local parties as well as a presence of national parties. Here are the most important national parties: Dutch-speaking parties contending in Flanders and Brussels: N-VA, CD&V, sp.a, Open VLD, Vlaams Belang, PvdA French-speaking parties contending in Wallonia and Brussels: PS, MR, DéFI, CdH, Ecolo, PTB German-speaking parties contending in several German-speaking municipalities in Wallonia All Belgian citizens aged 18 or over are automatically registered and are obligated to participate in the election. Foreigners, both EU and non-EU, have the right to register to vote; the number of voters is as follows as of 1 August 2018: The municipal councils in the 19 municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region will be elected. These municipalities do not belong to any province. Since 2014, the regional electoral legislation has been modified to forbid lists with only one candidate to enforce the sex parity principle, officiously to evict lists from an Islamist party.
This'ISLAM' party's leader had announced in April that it would present lists in 14 out of 19 communes. There are only two, in Brussels and Molenbeek. A third one in Anderlecht, headed by the aforementioned leader, elected in 2012, was invalidated because it hadn't been able to collect 100 signatures for its act of presentation. In April and begin September several politicians, amidst big media interest for this minuscule party, had announced they would submit a law proposal to forbid it as its leader had multiplied controversial attitudes towards women and announcements that he aimed to introduce sharia in Belgium; the definitive candidates lists have been published online on 21 September 2018, there are 4,104 candidates on 152 lists, they were 3,965 in 2012. Following the 2012 election, Freddy Thielemans continued as mayor, heading a coalition of socialists and liberals. In December 2013, Thielemans was succeeded by Yvan Mayeur. In 2017, a scandal emerged surrounding Samusocial, an organisation for homeless people where board members received excessive compensations for supposed meetings.
Mayeur was succeeded by Philippe Close. The coalition was no longer supported by sp.a, sp.a alderwoman Ans Persoons quit. Persoons and sp.a will contend the election on their own as Change. Brussels. An October 2017 poll showed the Green parties surpassing the socialists as largest party. In 2018, new financial-political scandals emerged regarding at least three organisations where people were reimbursed as self-employed where they should have been employed. A debate among the main Dutch-speaking candidates was held on 4 September. Brussels is the only Belgian commune where two Islamic parties contend this election and its splinter party Salem, the first with two candidates, the second with three. Islam had 2 councillors in 2012, one in Anderlecht, the other in Molenbeek, both elected on one-person lists; the third list, in Brussels, failed to get a councillor elected in 2012. This time, the party has only been able to present lists of two candidates in Molenbeek and Brussels. There is a third Islamic party, limited to the province of Liège, the Movement for Education, which presents lists in three communes, Liège, Dison and Fléron, two one-candidate lists and one three-candidates list.
Opinion polling: In 1994, a new coalition took power in Schaerbeek against the former Liberal majority that had backed far right mayor Roger Nols. This coalition included former'Nolsists', under the leadership of incumbent mayor Francis Duriau, the FDF of Bernard Clerfayt, the PSC and the PS; the coalition was renewed in 2000, without the PSC but with the MR which competed under the Liste du Bourgmestre flag, uniting the former PRL and the FDF. In 2006, the coalition excluded the PS, which had among its councillors a controversial Turkish member of the Grey Wolves; this provoked the exclusion of Ecolo by the PS in the ruling coalitions e.g. in Brussels and Molenbeek. In 2012, the PS was maintained in the opposition, while the CDH entered it with 2 aldermen, the local MR ch
2009 European Parliament election in Belgium
The European Parliament election of 2009 in Belgium was on Sunday 7 June 2009 and was the election of the delegation from Belgium to the European Parliament. The elections were on the same day as regional elections to the Flemish Parliament, Walloon Parliament, Brussels Parliament and the Parliament of the German-speaking Community; as a result of the Treaty of Nice – that became active in November 2004 – the number of Belgian delegates in the European Parliament decreased from 24 to 22 delegates: 13 delegates were elected by the Dutch-speaking Electoral College, 8 delegates by the Francophone Electoral College and 1 by the German-speaking Electoral College. In Belgium, residents of Flanders can only vote for a party list that runs in Flanders, in Wallonia residents may only pick a Walloon list. In practice this means residents will only be able to vote for a party representing the official language group of the region.. In the capital Brussels, bilingual, people can choose either a French- or a Dutch-speaking party list.
However, the area surrounding Brussels is part of Dutch-speaking Flanders, but is joined with the Brussels constituency in elections for the European Parliament and the Belgian Parliament. This bilingual constituency, Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde, has been declared unconstitional and has been a source of controversy for years. Flemings fear the bilingual constituency leads to increased francisation of the Dutch-speaking area surrounding Brussels, while French-speakers claim it is their basic right to vote for a French-speaking party; some Dutch-speaking municipalities decided to boycott the EU Parliament election for reason of the unconstitutionality, but elections were carried out anyway. As in previous elections, Francophone parties campaigned outside of the Francophone area, leading to measures from Flemish authorities. Affligem and Halle are located in Dutch-speaking Flanders but belong to the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde constituency. Politicians in Affligem and Halle have objected to French-speaking campaigners in Flanders, billboard space has been denied by the municipal authorities.
In Affligem, French-language posters, put up were covered with white paper. The Francophone party Humanist Democratic Centre has condemned it as an attack on "the fundamental rights of French speakers on the periphery "; the municipalities of Merchtem, Kapelle-op-den-Bos, Ternat and Grimbergen said that they would not provide billboard space, in the hope of avoiding French-language posters. In Steenokkerzeel and Grimbergen stickers were distributed, to be placed on mailboxes, requesting that only Dutch flyers are accepted. European Parliament Elections 2009 in Belgium European Elections results shown on Belgian cartogram European Election Results 2009
2014 Belgian federal election
Federal elections were held in Belgium on 25 May 2014. All 150 members of the Chamber of Representatives were elected, whereas the Senate was no longer directly elected following the 2011–2012 state reform; these were the first elections held under King Philippe's reign. As part of the state reform adopted 19 December 2013, the date of election will from now on coincide with the European elections, which the Council of the EU has scheduled for 22–25 May 2014; the regional elections in Belgium constitutionally coincide with the European elections Belgians will vote for three elections on the same day. On 25 April 2014, a declaration to amend the Constitution was adopted, formally dissolving parliament and triggering new elections within 40 days; the 150 members of the Chamber of Representatives are elected in 11 multi-member constituencies, being the ten provinces and Brussels, with between 4 and 24 seats. Seats are allocated using the d'Hondt method, with an electoral threshold of 5% per constituency.
Apportionment of seats is done every ten years, last by royal order of 31 January 2013, based on the population figures of 28 May 2012. Representatives elected from the five Flemish provinces, East Flanders, Flemish Brabant and West Flanders, automatically belong to the Dutch-speaking language group in parliament, whereas those elected from the five Walloon provinces, Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg and Walloon Brabant, form the French-speaking language group; the 15 members elected in Brussels may choose to join either group, though de facto only French-speaking parties reach the threshold. The 60-member Senate is composed of 50 representatives from the regional and community parliaments, plus 10 co-opted senators proportionally divided among parties based on the result of the federal election. All Belgian citizens aged 18 or over are obligated to participate in the election. Foreigners residing in Belgium cannot vote, whereas Belgian citizens living abroad may register to vote. Following the sixth state reform, they can no longer choose in which constituency their vote counts.
Since the previous elections were snap elections, there was more preparation time now, allowing for increased use of the option compared to 2010. The electoral roll was fixed per 1 March 2014. 151 Flemish municipalities and 2 Brussels municipalities voted electronically. The previous 2010 election resulted in a victory for Flemish nationalist N-VA; the coalition formation stalemate went on for a record-breaking 541 days. The negotiating parties agreed upon a sixth Belgian state reform and the Di Rupo Government was formed on 6 December 2011 and comprised PS, MR, CD&V, Open VLD, sp.a and cdH. The state reform has the following consequences for the election in 2014: The controversial electoral constituency of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde no longer exists; the Senate will no longer be directly elected. The term length will be increased from 4 years to 5 years, the election will always coincide with the European Parliament election; the campaign topics focused on socio-economic reforms: job creation and unemployment, tax reform, pensions...
This campaign featured an unprecedented level of quantified programmes by political parties. For example, the N-VA released its "V plan" and CD&V its "3D plan". One week before the election day, former CD&V Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene died while in France. Several debates were cancelled, CD&V as well as all other Flemish parties suspended their campaign for a few days. On 24 May, the day before the elections, a shooting occurred at the Belgian Jewish Museum in Brussels, with three people reported dead. Self-described anti-Zionist MP Laurent Louis suggested that the attack could be a false flag operation seeking to discredit him and his political party on the eve of the elections. In 2010, ten parties won seats in the Belgian Senate: Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams, Centre Démocrate Humaniste, Socialistische Partij Anders, Parti Socialiste, Open Vld, Mouvement Réformateur, Ecolo, New Flemish Alliance and Vlaams Belang. In the Chamber of Representatives, the People's Party and Libertarian, Democratic each won one seat.
During the legislation, the Francophone Democratic Federalists separated from the MR party and are now represented in the Chamber with 3 representatives, but have no Senators. The PP Member of Parliament became an independent. One Vlaams Belang member of the Chamber and one Vlaams Belang member of the Senate left their party and decided to become independents, thus the ten major parties are represented in both the Chamber and the Senate. However, most of the major parties only operate in the Dutch-speaking or in the French-speaking constituencies. Voters who live in the provinces of Antwerp, East Flanders, Flemish Brabant, Limburg or West Flanders can only vote for CD&V, Groen, N-VA, Open VLD, sp.a and Vlaams Belang, apart from the minor parties – except when a French-speaking party would present a list in one of these provinces, which has not happened except for a FDF and a PP list in Flemish Brabant. In the provinces of Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg and Walloon Brabant, voters can only vote for cdH, Ecolo, MR and PS, apart from the minor parties – except when a Dutch
Philippe of Belgium
Philippe or Filip is the King of the Belgians, having ascended the throne on 21 July 2013, following his father's abdication. He is the eldest child of King Albert II, whom he succeeded upon Albert's abdication for health reasons, Queen Paola, he married Countess Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz. King Philippe's elder daughter, Princess Elisabeth, is first in the line of succession. Philippe was born on 15 April 1960 during the reign of King Baudouin of Belgium, his father, Prince Albert, Prince of Liège was the second son of King Leopold III of Belgium and a younger brother of Baudouin. His mother, Princess of Liège, is a daughter of Italian aristocrat Fulco VIII, Prince Ruffo di Calabria, 6th Duke of Guardia Lombarda, his mother descends from the French House of La Fayette, the king is a descendant of Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette and Marie Adrienne Françoise de Noailles. He was born at the Belvédère Castle in Laeken north of Brussels, he was baptised one month at the church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg in Brussels on 17 May, named Philippe after his great-great-grandfather Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders.
His godparents were his paternal grandfather, King Leopold III, his maternal grandmother, Donna Luisa, Princess Ruffo di Calabria. From 1978 to 1981, Philippe was educated at the Belgian Royal Military Academy in the 118th "Promotion Toutes Armes". On 26 September 1980, he took the officer's oath, he continued his education at Trinity College, Oxford and he attended graduate school at Stanford University, where he graduated in 1985 with an MA degree in political science. He obtained his certificates as a parachutist and a commando. In 1989, he attended a series of special sessions at the Royal Higher Defence Institute; the same year, he was promoted to colonel. In 1993 King Baudouin died in Spain, Albert became the new king, Philippe became the new heir apparent, titled Duke of Brabant. On 25 March 2001, the prince was appointed to the rank of major-general in the Land Component and the Air Component and to the rank of rear-admiral in the Naval Component. Philippe married Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz, daughter of a Walloon Count of Belgian noble family and female line descendant of Polish noble families such as the Princes Sapieha and Counts Komorowski, on 4 December 1999 in Brussels, in a civil ceremony at the Brussels Town Hall and a religious ceremony at the Cathedral of Saint Michel and Saint Gudule in Brussels.
They have four children: Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, born 25 October 2001 at Erasmus Hospital in Brussels Prince Gabriel, born 20 August 2003 at Erasmus Hospital in Brussels Prince Emmanuel, born 4 October 2005 at Erasmus Hospital in Brussels Princess Eléonore, born 16 April 2008 at Erasmus Hospital in Brussels On 6 August 1993, the government named Philippe as honorary chairman of the Belgian Foreign Trade Board. He succeeded his father, honorary chairman of the BFTB since 1962. On 3 May 2003, Philippe was appointed honorary chairman of the board of the Foreign Trade Agency, replacing the BFTB. In this capacity, Philippe has headed more than 60 economic missions. Upon his accession as seventh King of the Belgians, this role was taken over by his sister Princess Astrid. King Albert II announced on 3 July 2013 that he would abdicate in favour of Philippe on 21 July 2013. One hour after King Albert II's abdication, Prince Philippe was sworn in as King of the Belgians, his eldest child, Princess Elisabeth became his heir apparent and is expected to become Belgium's first queen regnant.
26 September 1980 – 21 March 1983: Belgian Air Force, Second Lieutenant Belgian Army, Second Lieutenant Belgian Navy, no rank 21 March 1983 – 1 December 1989: Belgian Air Force, Captain Belgian Army, Captain Belgian Navy, no rank 1 December 1989 – 5 April 2001: Belgian Air Force, Colonel Belgian Army, Colonel Belgian Navy, no rank 5 April 2001 – 25 March 2010: Belgian Air Component, Major General Belgian Land Component, Major General Belgian Marine Component, Divisional Admiral 15 March 2010 – 21 July 2013: Belgian Air Component, Lieutenant General Belgian Land Component, Lieutenant General Belgian Marine Component, Vice Admiral Since 21 July 2013: Belgian Air Component, General Belgian Land Component, General Belgian Marine Component, Admiral 15 April 1960 – 9 August 1993: His Royal Highness Prince Philippe of Belgium 9 August 1993 – 21 July 2013: His Royal Highness The Duke of Brabant 21 July 2013 – present: His Majesty The King of the Belgians Line of succession to the Belgian throne Prince Philippe Fund Official biography from the Belgian Royal Family website DHnet Article about Prince Philippe's education and military career
2007 Belgian federal election
The 2007 Belgian federal election took place on Sunday 10 June 2007. Voters went to the polls in order to elect new members for the Chamber of Representatives and Senate. Eligible voters were older. There was a legal electoral threshold of 5% for political parties to meet to receive representation, but in several election districts the real electoral threshold is higher than the legal, due to the small number of seats to be elected in the particular district; the 150 members of the Chamber of Representatives were elected from 11 electoral districts. The 40 Senate members were elected from the Francophone electoral colleges. Of the Flemish parties, the alliance of Christian Democratic and Flemish party and the New-Flemish Alliance received an increased share of the vote from the previous election, held in 2003; the CD&V/N-VA list was headed by Yves Leterme, became the largest political formation in Belgium, thus leading the coalition talks for a new government. Flemish Interest lost one seat. Green! was able to return to parliament and newcomers List Dedecker surprised most by grabbing six seats, including one in the Senate.
Prime minister Guy Verhofstadt's "purple coalition," consisting of his Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats alliance list and Socialist Party – Different, was punished in the election, with the SP. A/SPIRIT alliance losing somewhat more than Verhofstadt's Open VLD alliance; the day after the election, Verhofstadt handed in the resignation of his government to King Albert II. SP. A leader Johan Vande Lanotte resigned from his leadership position as well that day; the Francophone situation did not mirror its Flemish counterpart. While Verhofstadt's Open VLD struggled, its Francophone sister party Mouvement Réformateur managed to defeat the long-dominant Parti Socialiste, although the PS remained strong in Hainaut and Liège; the Humanist Democratic Centre brought in a positive result as well, but the biggest gains were for the environmentalist party Ecolo. The overall outcome of the elections was that the liberal fraction became the largest group in parliament with, followed by the Christian Democrats and N-VA with 40 seats.
The electoral alliance between the Flemish CD&V and N-VA parties became the biggest single parliamentary grouping. The previous general election in 2003 had resulted in a coalition between the socialist parties SP.a/Spirit and the Parti Socialiste, the centrist liberal-democratic parties VLD/Vivant and MR, with Guy Verhofstadt of the VLD to retaining his position of Prime Minister of Belgium until 2007. Only parties who fielded candidates for the Belgian Senate are listed; these Flemish parties field candidates in the regions of Flanders and the bilingual electoral district Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde. The Christian Democratic and Flemish party is a Christian Democratic party that has formed an alliance with the Flemish nationalist party New-Flemish Alliance. Most polls in the run-up to the election suggested that the alliance would win the election and become the largest political force in Flanders, it is led by current prime minister of the Flemish Region and Community. Having become the largest political party in the Belgian Chamber after the 2007 election, the alliance will become the fulcrum of the coalition talks for a new government.
Commentators suggest that coalition talks will be difficult, as most Francophone parties see the alliance as being overly Flemish-dominated. It was the first time that the Flemish Interest had taken part in federal elections under its new name. Ostracized by all other political parties because of its views on foreigners and immigration, the VB is unlikely to take part in a new government; the VB's lists included members of the right-liberal Flemish Liberal Independent Tolerant and Transparent party of Hugo Coveliers. The Socialistische Partij Anders is a social-democratic party and has formed a cartel list with the Flemish regionalist and left liberal party Spirit. Like their coalition partner VLD, they lost in the election, which prompted SP. A party leader Johan Vande Lanotte to step down. Vande Lanotte made it clear that the alliance will not take part in a federal government whose sole concern is state reform. Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats is the alliance list of the Flemish Liberals and Democrats of prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, the small liberal political parties Vivant and Liberal Appeal.
The VLD has seen some infighting in the last years, resulting in two prominent members leaving the party, Hugo Coveliers and Jean-Marie Dedecker. After the 2006 municipal elections, the party had tried to revamp itself with the newly named Open VLD cartel, under direction of noted political strategist Noël Slangen. Groen! is an ecological party, the successor of Agalev. It hoped to make a return to the federal legislature after being wiped out in the 2003 general election, they managed to return to the Belgian parliament with four House seats and one senate seat, but their result of 6.3% was below expectations. List Dedecker is a liberal offshoot of the Flemish Liberals and Democrats, founded by Belgian Senator Jean-Marie Dedecker and Boudewijn Bouckaert, chairman of the Nova Civitas think tank; the party surprised some who doubted it would clear the 5% electoral threshold by receiving 6.3% of the Flemish vote. The Workers Party of Belgium is a radical left wing party, of Maoist origin, its l
Judiciary of Belgium
The court system of Belgium is similar to the French court system. Belgium evolved from a unitary to a federal state, but its judicial system has not been adapted to a federal system; the native names in this article are Dutch and French. The German names are not mentioned; the territory of Belgium is subdivided into 5 judicial areas, 27 judicial arrondissements and 225 judicial cantons. Below is a summary of the court system: The Arrondissement Court handles conflicts between the Labour Court, Commercial Court and Court of First Instance where it is unclear which court is competent for the respective case. Legal help can be obtained from a House of Justice, of which there is one in each judicial arrondissement and 2 in the arrondissement of Brussels; the Constitutional Court is a special court for conflicts between the federal level and regional level and was created as part of the federalisation of the country. The government of Belgium has a lot of administrative courts, of which the Council of State is the main one.
As a member state of several international organisations, their international courts have jurisdiction in Belgium: Benelux Court Court of Justice of the European Union European Court of Human Rights of the Council of Europe Law of Belgium High Council of Justice List of Belgian Judges Justice: Organisation, belgium.be
2019 Belgian regional elections
The 2019 Belgian regional elections will take place on Sunday 26 May, the same day as the 2019 European Parliament election as well as the Belgian federal election unless snap federal elections are called. In the regional elections, new representatives will be chosen for the Flemish Parliament, Walloon Parliament, Brussels Parliament and the Parliament of the German-speaking Community; the Parliament of the French Community will be composed of all elected members of the Walloon Parliament and 19 of the French-speaking members of the Brussels Parliament. The elections will follow the 2014 elections and will be shortly after the 2018 local elections, which will be indicating voters' tendencies after an unusually long period of time without any elections in Belgium; the regional parliaments have limited power over their own election. As such, all regional parliaments are elected using proportional representation under the D'Hondt method. Only Belgian citizens in Belgium have the right to vote, voting is mandatory for them.
Belgians living abroad are allowed to vote in European and federal elections, but not in regional elections. The following timetable is fixed for the simultaneous European and regional elections: All 124 members of the Flemish Parliament will be elected; the five Flemish provinces each are a constituency, plus the Brussels-Capital Region where those voting for a Dutch-language party can vote in the Flemish election. The incumbent Bourgeois Government is made up of a coalition of Flemish nationalists, Christian democrats and liberals; the incumbent Minister-President is Geert Bourgeois. The three-party centre-right government coalition has a comfortable majority. In the October 2018 local elections, no major shifts occurred, although N-VA and sp.a lost some support while Vlaams Belang and Groen gained votes. CD&V and Open Vld remained stable. Incumbent Minister-President Bourgois will contend in the simultaneous European Parliament elections; the following candidates are the first on the respective party list per constituency.
Minister Jo Vandeurzen Rob Beenders Yamila Idrissi Grete Remen Johan Verstreken All 75 members of the Walloon Parliament will be elected. The members are elected in multi-member arrondissement-based constituencies. A January 2018 law however reduced the constituencies from 13 to 11, following a successful challenge by Ecolo to the Constitutional Court that constituencies with too few seats are unrepresentative. Both Luxembourg constituencies were merged and the Hainaut constituencies were redrawn. After the 2014 elections, a government was formed with a coalition of the Socialist Party and Christian democrats. In 2017 however, following major scandals involving PS, cdH opted to continue governing with MR as main party instead of PS. Willy Borsus succeeded Paul Magnette as Minister-President of Wallonia in July 2017; this is the first time a government majority changed during a legislative term of a Belgian regional government. All 89 members of the Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region will be elected.
They are elected at-large, but there are separate Dutch-language party lists and French-language party lists. Those voting for a Dutch-language party can cast a vote for the Flemish Parliament election. All 25 members of the Parliament of the German-speaking Community will be elected in one constituency. In the 2014–2019 period, the government is made up of regionalist ProDG, the socialist party and the liberal PFF, headed by Minister-President Oliver Paasch