Belgian king appoints defeated premier as interim leader

Belgium's King Albert II asked ousted premier Guy Verhofstadt to head an interim government on Monday, after more than six months of political deadlock in the country.

Belgian king appoints defeated premier as interim leader
"The king has charged Mr Verhofstadt with forming an interim government to deal with urgent matters and to launch negotiations which must lead to institutional reform. Mr Verhofstadt has accepted this mission," a laconic statement from the palace read.

Verhofstadt's coalition government was ousted by voters in elections on June 10, but the bespectacled liberal recently re-emerged as Belgium's most popular politician as the conservatives who overtook him in the summer poll proved unable to form a coalition.

The talks, the longest in Belgian history, were poisoned by a dispute between Dutch and French-speaking parties over the distribution of power and wealth between the more populous, Dutch-speaking Flanders and the French-speaking area of Wallonia.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Aralık 2007, 17:16
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