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King to appoint federal mediator
The King is expected to consult a number of political party representatives today, in an attempt to avert a long political crisis of the type seen in 2010. The politicians need to find a way out of the new deadlock that was created when the French-speaking Christian democrats (CDH) rejected a starting note by Bart De Wever to shape a federal government.
At a press conference after his resignation as informateur yesterday, De Wever stressed that his party remains available for the federal coalition. “This story has not ended yet. N-VA is the country’s biggest party. That comes with a big responsibility.”
De Wever also stated that he believed his project for a “social and economic recovery government” would get a large majority in parliament “if its contents were put to the vote”.
CDH, meanwhile, offered an explanation for its rejection of De Wever’s note. “We asked for guarantees on state reforms that were voted on in the previous term, of the same kind CD&V asked in Brussels. Why did De Wever not give these?” CDH’s Melchior Wathelet said in the news show Terzake yesterday.
The Christian democrats were also put off by a phrase stating that “the federal government should be at the service of the regional governments,” which Melchior called “painful”.
With the centre right coalition off the table, three coalitions remain possible. However, each of these is marred by vetoes and mistrust, especially among the French speakers. It is up to the king now to decide who makes the next move in the coalition talks. It is expected that, after giving a Flemish informateur a go, he will now appoint a French-speaking politician.