Home » Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo Resigns After Poor Election Results

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo Resigns After Poor Election Results

by Mohammed Ahmed

Flemish nationalist parties have secured a significant victory in Belgium’s general elections, with Prime Minister Alexander De Croo’s liberal party experiencing a major setback. The right-wing nationalist New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) maintained its position as the leading political force, capturing 22% of the votes, according to provisional results provided by the Interior Ministry.

Despite pre-election polls suggesting that the far-right, anti-immigration Vlaams Belang would dominate, the party finished second with 17.5% of the votes. The Socialist Voruit party followed with approximately 10.5%. De Croo’s party managed to secure less than 7% of the votes, trailing behind the far-left parties.

“This is a very difficult evening for us, we have lost,” De Croo stated. “From tomorrow, I will be the outgoing prime minister. But we liberals are strong, and we will be back.”

Belgian voters participated in national elections on Sunday, coinciding with the European Union vote and elections for regional chambers. The election results are expected to lead to complex coalition negotiations in a country deeply divided by language and regional identities. Belgium is split between francophone Wallonia in the south and Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north, necessitating coalitions composed of parties from both regions.

The Vlaams Belang has historically been excluded from government coalitions under the “cordon sanitaire” doctrine, designed to prevent the spread of extremist influence. De Croo’s current seven-party coalition government was formed after nearly 18 months of negotiations following the previous elections, with an even longer wait of 541 days after the 2010 vote, a world record for forming a government.

On election day, more than eight million Belgians cast their votes under hot and sunny conditions, leading to long queues at polling stations in Brussels, the capital. The Red Cross assisted by providing water to voters struggling with the heat.

Reports of irregularities surfaced, as some underage voters permitted to vote only in the European elections also managed to vote in regional and federal elections. Teenagers aged 16 and 17 voted for the first time in the European elections, while the minimum voting age for other elections is 18. Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden addressed these concerns, stating that “the errors appeared to have been limited” and that any complaints would be investigated.

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