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Right-wing New Flemish Alliance wins Belgian 'Super Sunday' elections

Leader of the N-VA, Bart De Wever
Leader of the N-VA, Bart De Wever Copyright Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Copyright 2017 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Copyright 2017 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Cynthia Kroet
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The liberal party of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo OpenVLD lost dramatically in Belgium's regional, national and EU elections on Sunday.

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The right-wing New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) emerged as the biggest winner of elections in Belgium on Sunday, with the extreme-right pro-separatist Vlaams Belang in second place.

The country voted in regional, national and European elections, dubbed “super Sunday”.

At the national level, the nationalist N-VA led by Bart De Wever received 18.6% of votes, up by more than 2% compared to 2020, while Vlaams Belang, at 15.4%, saw a 3.5% jump, according to the preliminary results published by broadcaster VRT.

De Wever, who held a speech celebrating his party’s win, said that his party is “the leading people’s party [of Flanders]".

"Flanders has chosen to preserve prosperity. More than ever, Flanders has opted for autonomy. Self-government is the best cure."

There was a big gap between the far-right and the smaller parties: the far-left Pvda/PTB, left-wing Vooruit and the Christian-Democrats CD&V are all expected to get around 9% of the vote. Liberal OpenVLD of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo – who took office in 2020 – lost dramatically: it’s now expected to get 5.8%. 

De Croo, speaking on election night, said it is a “difficult night” for his party. 

“We have lost this election. I was the face of the campaign. This is not the result that we hoped for. I take full responsibility,” he said.

Flanders and Wallonia: miles apart

Both Flanders and Wallonia have their own governments, parliaments and budgets. 

N-VA remains the biggest party in Flanders with 24.5% of the vote, despite polls in the past weeks which suggested that it might be overtaken by Vlaams Belang, which scooped 22.8% of the vote in the Flemish-speaking northern region of Belgium.

In Wallonia, which is traditionally more left-wing than the north, the liberal MR party polled almost 30% of the votes, followed by the Socialist Party at 22.6% and centrist Les Engagees at 21%. 

The French-speaking green party Ecolo has lost significantly. In Wallonia it got 7.5% percent of the votes: compared to 15% at the last election.

Government formation in Belgium is often complicated by the need to find compromise on a national level. This process took a record 541 days after elections held on 13 June 2010. 

The full results are expected to come in overnight.

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