The government, in a minority in Parliament since the end of 2018, obtained the confidence of a majority of deputies on Thursday to devote itself exclusively to measures intended to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

The government, in a minority in Parliament since the end of 2018, obtained the confidence of a majority of deputies on Thursday to devote itself exclusively to measures intended to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

(.) – In a vote in the House in the early afternoon, 128 votes were cast, including “84 yes and 44 no” (out of a total of 150 deputies), announced the president of this assembly Patrick Dewael. “The confidence motion has been adopted,” he added. Secondly, a law conferring “special powers” on the government for six months will have to be passed, probably in the coming days.

An agreement had been concluded Sunday evening between ten parties to support the granting of these “special powers” for a limited period to the team (of three center-right parties) led by the French-speaking Liberal Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès.

Seven political parties will support from the spans of the House the current executive in current affairs which will become “full function”. For up to six months.

It is for the executive to be able to proceed by decrees, without going through the Parliament box, to enforce in the country health measures or emergency economic support linked to the coronavirus crisis. “In this unknown situation it is absolutely necessary to work together,” launched Ms. Wilmès Thursday before the vote.

Ultimately, the minority government – with a seat of only 38 deputies – received the support of six of the nine other parties represented, and not seven as originally announced three days ago.

“A truce in the political crisis”

In addition to the PTB / PVDA (radical left) and the Vlaams Belang (far right), the Flemish nationalists of the N-VA, the first party in North Dutch-speaking, refused to vote for confidence in the Wilmès team, deeming it “illegitimate” .

One of the party figures, the ex-secretary of state Theo Francken, even castigated the establishment of a “Corona dictatorship” in Belgium. N-VA president Bart De Wever wanted “emergency government” involving his party. The PS, the first formation in French-speaking Belgium, refused.

The Belgians severely judge the absence of a majority at the federal level, a year after the fall of the Michel government.

Georges Gilkinet, head of the Ecolo-Groen group in the House, hailed “a truce in the political crisis” with this majority support granted to the government on Thursday. But “it is not a blank check”, he added, “I hope he will work in confidence with the parties that support him” (also the socialists and two small centrist francophone parties).

Belgium has lived with a government “in current affairs” since December 2018, when the N-VA had brought down the team led by Charles Michel at the time because of a disagreement on the migration issue.

Marked by a surge of extremes and environmentalists, the May 2019 elections further fragmented the political landscape and no agreement has been reached for ten months to build a full-service coalition.

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