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Right-wing New Flemish Alliance wins Belgian ‘Super Sunday’ elections

Right-wing New Flemish Alliance wins Belgian ‘Super Sunday’ elections

The liberal party of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo OpenVLD lost dramatically in Belgium’s regional, national and EU elections on Sunday. The right-wing New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) emerged as the biggest winner of elections in Belgium on Sunday, with the extreme-right pro-separatist Vlaams Belang in second place.

The country voted in regional, national and European elections, dubbed “super Sunday”. At the national level, the nationalist N-VA led by Bart De Wever received 18.6% of votes, up by more than 2% compared to 2020, while Vlaams Belang, at 15.4%, saw a 3.5% jump, according to the preliminary results published by broadcaster VRT.

De Wever, who held a speech celebrating his party’s win, said that his party is “the leading people’s party [of Flanders]”.

“Flanders has chosen to preserve prosperity. More than ever, Flanders has opted for autonomy. Self-government is the best cure.”

There was a big gap between the far-right and the smaller parties: the far-left Pvda/PTB, left-wing Vooruit and the Christian-Democrats CD&V are all expected to get around 9% of the vote. Liberal OpenVLD of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo – who took office in 2020 – lost dramatically: it’s now expected to get 5.8%.

De Croo, speaking on election night, said it is a “difficult night” for his party.

“We have lost this election. I was the face of the campaign. This is not the result that we hoped for. I take full responsibility,” he said.

Flanders and Wallonia: miles apart

Both Flanders and Wallonia have their own governments, parliaments and budgets. N-VA remains the biggest party in Flanders with 24.5% of the vote, despite polls in the past weeks which suggested that it might be overtaken by Vlaams Belang, which scooped 22.8% of the vote in the Flemish-speaking northern region of Belgium. In Wallonia, which is traditionally more left-wing than the north, the liberal MR party polled almost 30% of the votes, followed by the Socialist Party at 22.6% and centrist Les Engagees at 21%.  The French-speaking green party Ecolo has lost significantly. In Wallonia it got 7.5% percent of the votes: compared to 15% at the last election. Government formation in Belgium is often complicated by the need to find compromise on a national level. This process took a record 541 days after elections held on 13 June 2010.

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Copyright Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Copyright 2017 The AP. All rights reserved.



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