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Belgium goes a year from elections without government

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by m_kishuri, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. m_kishuri

    m_kishuri JF-Expert Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    Joined: Jan 27, 2010
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    For the year since a general election on 13 June 2010, Belgium has had no official government. As coalition negotiations have dragged on, the country has had to make do with a caretaker prime minister and cabinet. How long can it continue?

    Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme resigned in April last year, but he is still turning up for work.

    In fact, by mid-August he will have been a caretaker prime minister for longer than he was an elected leader with a mandate to govern.
    Continue reading the main story

    Technically this government can last until the next federal election has to be called in 2014"
    End Quote David Sinardet Political scientist

    This may sound odd - Belgium is after all the home of surrealism - but the oddest thing is that, after one year, there is no solution on the horizon.
    Belgians proudly claimed the world record in February, for the country that has spent longest without a government.

    A website counted down to the day - 17 February - when the title would be taken from Iraq, which took 289 days to form a government in 2009. The site now proclaims: "Yes, Belgians, we did it!"

    Other sources suggest that the record was in fact held by Cambodia, which took 353 days to form a government after elections in 2003. Belgium swept past this figure on 1 June.

    "Technically this can last until the next federal election has to be called in 2014," says political scientist David Sinardet.

    "Let's say we have elections in 2014 and we have some problem forming a coalition, this caretaker government could still go on after that. As long as it commands a majority in parliament the only obstacle to it continuing would be the fear of absurdity."

    Impatience Few in Belgium believe that calling new elections now would help.
    Continue reading the main story

    It's not the kind of record one wants to set. If people are having fun with it, it is to hide their embarrassment"
    End Quote Marc Reynebeau De Standaard

    The problem has arisen because of the deep divisions between the Dutch-speaking (Flemish) and French-speaking halves of the population, and the lack of any truly national parties.

    The fruitless coalition negotiations over the last year have centred on Flemish demands for further devolution of powers from central government, which has been both frustrating and boring for ordinary voters.

    "What you see is impatience, but more a general lack of interest. People are tired of the whole business, especially so far as the institutional part of it is concerned," says De Standaard journalist Marc Reynebeau.

    NB: Bahati Belgium ni nchi iliyoendelea. Yaani sioni jinsi gani nchi za dunia ya tatu au hata ya pili zinaweza kukaa muda wote huu bila serikali. Nchi zetu zina serikali na nanga bado zinapaa, hebu fikiria mambo yatakuwaje endapo haipo?