Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Venezuela: Nicolas Maduro accusé de tuer les étudiants

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Rwandan president claims 'no problem with France'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Paul Kagame visits UNESCO HQ in Paris

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Flamboyant US Congressman's Instagram Lands Him in Bother

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Compromise buys Greece time and Jihadi John is unmasked (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Compromise buys Greece time and Jihadi John is unmasked (part 1)

Read more

#TECH 24

Drone vs. drone

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The future of agriculture

Read more

REVISITED

Yalta, the symbol of a new Cold War?

Read more

Europe

Country's unity at stake in legislative elections

Video by Florence VILLEMINOT

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-06-13

Belgians vote in a parliamentary election on Sunday with opinion polls predicting high scores for Flemish separatist party NVA, which advocates Belgium's gradual division along linguistic and cultural lines.

AFP - Voting began Sunday in Belgium's legislative elections, with the strength of Flemish separatist parties hiking concerns of moves towards splitting the country along its linguistic faultline.
   

The independence-minded NVA led by 39-year-old Bart De Wever can expect some 25 percent of the vote in Belgium's richer, Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north of the country, according to the pre-vote polls,
   
Add fellow separatist groups and the vote regionally stacks up at 40 percent, the kind of figure to send shivers down the spines of federalist politicians in the poorer French-speaking region of Wallonia to the south.
   
In French-speaking Wallonia, the socialists were the pre-vote favourites  with opinion polls giving them at least 30 percent of the vote there.
   
The two communities could then have more than the usual problems in forming a coalition government in a country where only the Brussels capital region is officially bilingual.
   
It took months after the last legislative elections in 2007 for a government to emerge. Analysts fear any duplication could lead to further radicalisation and bring the spectre of an eventual split into stark focus.
   
Voting is obligatory for the 150 parliamentary seats in the country of 10.5 million people, 60 percent Flemish, where no political party operates nationally.
   
The early elections were made necessary when the previous five-party coalition of Flemish Christian Democrat Yves Leterme crumbled in April over special right afforded to the francophone minority in Flemish suburbs of Brussels.
   
The polling stations will close at 3:00 pm (1300 GMT) with the first results expected within three hours.

 

Date created : 2010-06-13

  • BELGIUM

    Parliament dissolves itself, paving the way for June vote

    Read more

  • BELGIUM

    PM Leterme resigns after liberals quit government

    Read more

  • BELGIUM

    Flemish liberals quit ruling coalition

    Read more

COMMENT(S)