BRUSSELS – Government formation is back

Belgium may have to head to the polls again if two advisers appointed by King Philippe on Monday (20 July) fail to find agreement on forming a coalition government over the next fifty days.

Paul Magnette, leader of the francophone Socialists (PS), and Flemish-nationalist leader Bart De Wever have accepted instructions from the King to take the necessary initiatives for the establishment of a government with a large majority in Parliament, the Royal Palace announced on Monday.

Belgium has been run by a caretaker administration under francophone liberal Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes (MR) with limited powers for more than a year as a May election failed to resolve the standoff.

Magnette and Wever are now meant to look into the possibilities and the requirements for forming a government, after various negotiating constellations appointed by the king over recent months went back to him empty-handed.

There are 50 days left to form a government or elections must be called, Magnette was quoted as saying by Belgian news agency Belga.

(Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)

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