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Belgian government resigns

27 April 2010 1:12

The king of Belgium has accepted the government’s resignation following the ruling coalition’s failure to agree on a bilingual voting district around the capital.

King Albert II accepted Prime Minister Yves Leterme’s resignation letter on Monday, a week after negotiations between the country’s French and Dutch speaking politicians broke down over a bilingual voting district in and around Brussels.

“I regret that the necessary dialogue to achieve a negotiated settlement did not produce the result we hoped for,” Leterme said in a statement.

The resignation of the Belgium government might lead to snap elections in June just ahead of the country’s assumption of the European Union’s rotating presidency, analysts say.

However, Leterme is expected to stay in power as the head of an interim government.

The linguistic gap between 6.5 million Dutch-speakers in the north and four million Francophones in the south has long overshadowed the country’s politics, leading to differences between the northern Flemish majority and the southern Walloon minority.

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