Belgium PM Di Rupo hands in cabinet resignation after poll

Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo submitted his government`s resignation to King Philip on Monday following general elections at the weekend, the palace said in a statement.

AFP| Last Updated: May 27, 2014, 00:45 AM IST

Brussels: Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo submitted his government`s resignation to King Philip on Monday following general elections at the weekend, the palace said in a statement.
"The king accepted the resignation and asked the government to continue in a caretaker capacity," the statement said.

The Flemish separatist New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) won 32 percent of yesterday`s vote in the language-divided country, making it the largest party in its Flanders heartland and in the country as a whole.

In line with the country`s traditions, King Philip is therefore expected to ask De Wever to try to put together a governing coalition.

Attention has been focused on the N-VA showing in the election, the first since an inconclusive 2010 ballot left the divided country without a government for a world record 541 days.

Though De Wever`s triumph was larger than expected, the French language press Monday dubbed it "an incomplete triumph" and a "non-guaranteed win", while Flemish papers called it a Pyrrhic victory.

This is because the conservative separatist leader ultimately bent on taking Flanders out of Belgium has no natural allies in the mainstream parties.

Di Rupo`s Socialists garnered around 30 per cent in southern French-speaking region of Wallonia, but when combined with the votes of a small sister Socialist party in Flanders are almost neck-and-neck with the N-VA.

In 2010, De Wever balked at cooperating with others failing a deal over its demands for more devolution and it took 541 days before Belgium formed a government.

Belgium`s world-record political impasse ended with the swearing-in of Di Rupo`s coalition government in 2011, based on three parties from the north and three from the south.

This time around De Wever, who was hugely acclaimed by supporters, said, "We don`t want a long political crisis ... we want to take the initiative to see what is possible."