PREMIERSHIP: Belgium's King appoints socialist & openly gay PM


PREMIERSHIP: Belgium's King appoints socialist & openly gay PM
by Darius Kadivar

Socialist Elio Di Rupo took the oath Tuesday as Belgium’s first French-speaking prime minister in nearly 40 years, formally ending a record 541-day government impasse.

(NOTE: Iran's 1906 Constitution was drafted on the Belgian Constitution of the time:

Cyrus Amir-Mokri on Pros and Cons of 1906 Constitution )

After 18 months of wrangling and deadlock, since a parliamentary electionin June 2010, a new Belgium government was sworn in on Tuesday (December 6) by Belgium's King Albert II. The members of the new government, headed by French-speaking Socialist leader Elio Di Rupo, took their oaths in front of the King in the three official languages of the country, namely French, Dutch and German. "I pledge allegiance to the King, obedience to the Constitution and the laws of Belgium's people," said Elio Di Rupo to a visibly relieved king at the Royal Palace in Laken, Brussels. Di Rupo will be the first native French-speaking prime minister of Belgium since 1979 and the first from the region of Wallonia since 1974, as well as the first son of immigrants and the first openly gay person to be premier of the country.

Belgium government goes back to business after PM appointed (Euronews English) :



Belgium swears in new government



Belgium secures government after record deadlock :

Belgium's new cabinet meets :

Belgium's new government met for the first time on Tuesday (December 6) after being sworn in to office. After 18 months of wrangling and a record-breaking political deadlock since parliamentary elections in June 2010, Belgium finally has a new government. The new government will be headed by French-speaking Socialist Elio Di Rupo, the man who was appointed by the country's king to resolve a dispute about linguistics that was threatening to split the bilingual country. Under huge media attention, Di Rupo officially took over the power from former Prime Minister, Yves Leterme, who had headed the interim government for the last 541 days. Visibly relieved, Leterme, who has a new job as OSCE head ligned up, handed di Rupo his entrance badge to the Chancellery and wished him good luck with the new job. The 13 ministers and six state secretaries then posed for a family photo and took their seats in the meeting room.

Belgium swears in new government headed by Elio Di Rupo (BBC)

Belgium has sworn in a new government, ending a record-breaking 541 days of political deadlock.

New Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo was sworn in by King Albert II at the royal palace along with his 12 cabinet ministers and six secretaries of state.

Mr Di Rupo, a French-speaking Socialist, took the oath of office in French, Dutch and German- reflecting language sensitivities in the country.

The Europe crisis is thought to have spurred politicians to find a solution.

Belgium had been run by a caretaker administration since the last government resigned in April 2010.

The delay informing a new government revolved around arguments over budget and immigration issues, but originally started with a row over the distribution of voting rights between the French-speaking and Flemish communities, the BBC's Matt Colein Brussels reports.

Amusement and anger

Belgium now holds the modern-day record for the country which has gone the longest without a government - beating previous title holder Cambodia by 182 days.

The situation had been as much a source of amusement as anger among Belgians, our correspondent says.

Demonstrations calling on politicians to resolve the crisis had been held, but there had also been more light-hearted protests including a group who refused to shave their beards until an administration was formed, he adds.

Politicians have been under pressure from financial markets and ratings agencies to create an effective government capable of carrying out structural reforms and reducing debt.

Last month, ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded Belgium's credit rating to AA from AA+, which could make it more expensive for Belgium to borrow in future.

This is thought to have been the catalyst for the six parties now in coalition to finally agreea new administration headed by Mr Di Rupo.

Mr Di Rupo, 60,is Belgium's first French-speaking prime minister in three decades and thefirst Socialist to take the premiership in Belgium since 1974.

Didier Reynders, who held the role of finance minister in the caretaker administration, will swap portfolios with the temporary Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere, said the palace statement.

Recommended Readings:

Profile: Belgium's Elio Di Rupo (bbc)

Related Blog:

ROYAL FORUM: 'Shame' protest in Brussels calls for a Belgian government (Al Jazeera Inside Story)

Another Recommended Reading:

Iranian Author Bahiyyih Nakhjavani honored in Belgium by Darius KADIVAR

Related Pictory :

ROYALTY: Belgian King State Visit to Iran 1960's

ROYAL CURTSY: Crown Prince Reza Godfather to Belgium's Prince Prince Laurent's Daughter (2004)

ROYALTY: Holland Greets Shah of Iran with Pomp and Circumstance (1959)

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Satrapi made Doctor Honoris Causa at UCL


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Another 24 children were injured in the crash near Sierre, in the canton of Valais, close to the border with Italy.

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13 Dec 2011 12:13

Source: Reuters // Reuters


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Everything is sacred


And Australia's prime

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And Australia's prime minister has de facto relationship with her partner. There's also an openly lesbian finance minister. Do people care whether they are gay, socialist, liberal, conservative or right wing? Not an iota. What we care about is how their policies impact on us. Would these people, or the Belgian prime minister get into public life in the US? Not a chance. Unless they "pretend" to be God fearing "Christians" of some sort, and promise to start some new war somewhere in the world (as it is an American tradition). Americans can however pretend to live in the land of free, because it is "free" to be imaginative!