As Belgium, too, goes to the polls to elect a new European parliament, it also faces regional elections which analysts believe could change the country’s political landscape.
Since the inconclusive 2007 elections, the country’s leaders have faced serious challenges trying to govern the fractured nation. Surveys show the balance of power among French-speaking politicians is set to dramatically change, with big losses predicted for the Socialist Party both in the Brussels region and in Wallonia. There, the Liberals and the Greens are expected to come out on top. In Belgium’s third region of Flanders, the political landscape is even more fragmented because only the Christian Democrats look likely to pass the 20 percent mark. However, losses in the other regions could deprive Christian Democrat premier Herman Van Rompuy of a majority and lead to early elections, prompting Flanders to reiterate its demands for greater autonomy – a move some fear could lead to the break-up of the kingdom.