In Belgium, Flemish parties have voted to support a draft bill that would break up a key electoral district in Brussels. The move aggravates the country’s current political crisis, as many French speakers would effectively lose the right to vote for Francophone candidates.
The result of today’s ballot led Francophone deputies to walk out of the commission discussing the draft law. Many fear the crisis could lead to the break-up of Belgium, which has been without a government for a record 150 days after elections in June.
Observers say coalition talks between the Christian Democrats and Liberals, led by would-be Prime Minister Yves Leterme, might now collapse.
The country has three regions: Dutch-speaking Flanders, French speaking Wallonia and bilingual Brussels. The key electoral district known as BHV was at the centre of today’s vote. Some observers say the move to break it up is seen by many French speakers as tantamount to a declaration of war on their rights.