On May 26th of this year, Belgians will go to the polls to elect their federal and regional representatives, as well as casting their vote for the European elections. For the latter, there is no doubt that there will be a new European Parliament and a new Commission. At the Belgian level, if all goes well, there will be new regional governments in Brussels-Capital, Flanders and Wallonia, and a new federal government. If the new majorities are emerging fairly quickly at the regional level, the same is not true for the federal majority.
In 2007, it took 194 days to form a government, 541 days in 2010/2011 and in 2014, it took 139 days to get the MR, NVA, Open VLD and CD&V coalition on the ground.
Once again, there is every reason to believe that it will take time to form this federal government. Firstly, because the communal elections of October 2018 once again showed the differences in political taste across Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.
Flanders is on the center-right, Wallonia on the center-left and the Brussels-Capital region has experienced a green wave in many communes. Secondly, based on the results at the provincial level, the three largest parties in the House of Representatives (NVA/PS/MR) have lost 16 seats (-9 for the NVA / -4 for the PS / -3 for the MR ). The renewal of the “Swedish” majority is therefore mathematically no longer possible.
In view of the latest developments and other statements made by the end of 2018, it is hardly imaginable that we will have the same parties leading the next government. Classical coalitions with four orange-blue, orange-red or purple parties are no longer possible; the coalition should therefore expand to five or six parties including the DéFI party of Olivier Maingain, or the Verts/Groen who are riding on their victory in the last municipal elections.
A 5 or 6 party government program: it will take time to negotiate such a scenario. In the meantime, the Michel Government is following business as usual, while the NVA has been singled out as the ones responsible for this government crisis, and for the stalling of important reforms.
See you in the aftermath of the elections for the negotiations to begin.