Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Europe

Parliament dissolves itself, paving the way for June vote

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-06

Belgium's parliament dissolved itself Thursday, paving the way for June elections after Prime Minister Yves Leterme's ruling coalition collapsed last month.

AFP - Belgium's parliament dissolved itself Thursday, paving the way for elections in June made inevitable by the collapse of the ruling coalition last month.
   
During the parliament's final session a deputy from the Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interests) ended his own speech with a cry of "Long live free Flanders, may Belgium die."
   
The government of Flemish Christian Democrat Yves Leterme fell last month after a key member of the five-party coalition, the Flemish liberal Open VLD walked out, frustrated over talks aimed at decreasing special rights for French speakers in Dutch-speaking Flanders.
   
The lower house chamber of deputies adopted a list of more than 50 articles of the constitution which could be modified by the next legislature, a move which automatically triggered the dissolution of parliament. Minutes later the upper house Senate did the same.
   
The formal decision will be published in the official gazette Friday after which a general elections must be held in 40 days.
   
The exact date must be fixed by royal decree but the chamber's president Patrick Dewael left the matter in no doubt; "The elections are fixed for June 13," he told the session.
   
Belgium's two main communities, the Dutch-speaking Flanders and poorer francophone Wallonia have long been at loggerheads.
   
French-speakers fear that Flemish moves towards more autonomy could presage the break up of the country.
   
No party operates nationwide in Belgium with its linguistic faultline between the two communities. Only the capital Belgium is officially bilingual.
   
Francophone fears are not eased by opinion polls which put the independentist Flemish NVA in first place in Flanders and in a position to replace Leterme's Christian Democrats in a new coalition.
   
Following the last legislative elections in 2007 it took more than six months to form a government.
   
Any such delay now would be an embarrassment for a country which prides itself on hosting the European Union's main institutions and will on July 1 take over the EU rotating presidency.
   
The fragility of Belgium's coalitions is demonstrated by Leterme's fortunes since the last polls; he quit three times as prime minister and had his resignation accepted twice. His final term lasted just five months.
   
Last December, without an election, he assumed control from Herman Van Rompuy who left to become the first European Union president.
  

Date created : 2010-05-06

  • BELGIUM

    After government collapse, new elections likely on June 13

    Read more

  • BELGIUM

    Francophone parties block divisive pro-Flemish bill

    Read more

  • BELGIUM

    PM Leterme resigns after liberals quit government

    Read more

COMMENT(S)