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23/05/2007: Needs Assessment Mission Report ahead of the 10 June 2007 Parliamentary Elections in Belgium

OSCE/ODIHR report following a needs assessment mission to Belgium, 25-27 April 2007.

Official version :

Kingdom of Belgium

Federal Elections 2007

OSCE/ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission Report 25 – 27 April 2007


In response to an invitation from the Permanent Delegation of Belgium to the OSCE to observe the federal elections scheduled for 10 June 2007, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) undertook a Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) to Belgium from 25 till 27 April 2007. The OSCE/ODIHR NAM comprised Nicolas Kaczorowski, Deputy Head of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Department, Vadim Zhdanovich, OSCE/ODIHR Senior Election Adviser and Gilles Saphy, OSCE/ODIHR Election Adviser.

The purpose of the NAM was to assess the conditions and preparations for the
forthcoming federal elections, and advise on modalities for a possible election
observation activity with regard to these elections.

The OSCE/ODIHR would like to thank the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs,
Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of Belgium for its assistance in
organizing the NAM. The OSCE/ODIHR would also like to thank the Federal Public
Service Interior, as well as representatives of other State institutions, political parties,
media and civil society, who took the time to meet with the NAM.


On 10 June 2007, Belgian voters are expected to elect the members of both houses of
the Federal Parliament for a four year term. The 150 members of the Chamber of
Representatives (Lower House) are directly elected by voters through a proportional
representation system with preference voting in 11 constituencies. Out of the 71
members of the Senate (Upper House), 40 are elected directly through a proportional
representation system with preference voting.

Belgium is a Federal State composed of three Regions. The political parties’ system is
divided along linguistic lines and comprises Dutch-speaking, French-speaking and
German-speaking parties.

The applicable legislation comprises the Constitution, the Electoral Code, which dates
back to 1894 and was amended several times since then, as well as other laws covering
particular aspects of the process such as political party funding or electronic voting.
Some sub-federal legislation can also impact on the legal framework of the federal

The Electoral Code foresees the presence of ‘candidates’ witnesses’ in polling stations
and at all other election administration levels. Yet, the election legislation does not
include specific provisions for international or domestic non-partisan observers. Their presence in polling stations is not forbidden but left to the discretion of the chairperson
of the polling station committee.

Belgium has a long standing tradition of democratic elections and all interlocutors met
during the NAM expressed a high level of confidence in the integrity and impartiality
of the election administration. The federal elections are coordinated by the Federal
Public Service Interior, and are run through a division of labour involving the Judiciary
and local administration structures. There is no permanent election administration.
Election commissions’ members are appointed by the Judiciary, and the local
administration plays an important role in the process.

Voting is compulsory in Belgium since 1893. Voter lists are compiled at local level 80
days before election day based on population registers in municipalities. Candidate lists
must be registered with election commissions some four weeks before election day. The
Electoral Code provides for gender parity on candidates lists.

Since the early 1990s, Belgium has been introducing electronic voting and since 1999
e-voting is used by some 44 per cent of the electorate. The e-voting procedure, which
does not foresee any voter verifiable paper trail, has been criticized by a few nongovernmental
organizations and political parties elected officials for lack of
transparency. The use of e-voting has not been extended beyond the current 44 per cent
of the electorate.

Since 1989, funding for political parties is being provided by the State based on the
parties’ electoral performances. Private donations from individuals are strictly limited
and donations from corporations and legal entities forbidden. Notwithstanding the
relatively high membership of some political parties in Belgium, state funding seems to
be the main financial resource for all political parties. Campaigns are financed from
political parties’ budgets, with ceilings of expenses.

The media landscape is pluralistic and reflects the specificity of the Belgian context
with distinct public and private media outlets along linguistic lines. There is no federal
level legislation on media coverage of election campaigns. Campaign coverage is run
on self-regulation by broadcasters, under the supervision of broadcasting councils.

The NAM recognizes the high level of public confidence as expressed by all those it
met. At the same time, as part of an effort by the OSCE/ODIHR to follow electoral
processes in a broader range of participating States, and with a view to following
specific questions identified during the NAM, such as the use of electronic voting
during these elections, the OSCE/ODIHR recommends the deployment of an Election
Assessment Mission (EAM).



Belgium is a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch. Belgian
institutions reflect a complex Federal structure and a very specific linguistic arrangement. Since 1970, five successive institutional reforms have modified the State
institutions, establishing a Federal system since 1993.

There are three layers of government. The highest layer is constituted by the Federal
State, the three Communities (the Flemish Community, the French Community and the
German-speaking Community) and the three Regions (Flemish Region, Walloon
Region and Brussels Capital Region). The boundaries of Regions and Communities do
not correspond. There are four different linguistic zones with different linguistic
regimes : the area of the sole Dutch language (Flemish Region), the area of the sole
French language (most of the Walloon Region), the area of the sole German language
(some one percent of the population situated in the Walloon Region), and finally the
Region of Brussels – Capital, which is officially bilingual. Language boundaries were
drawn during the 1960s.

The Federal State, the Regions and the Communities are “equal under law”, each of
them fulfilling their responsibilities on an equal footing, but in different areas of
competence. The Federal State has retained most of the core prerogatives of a central
state (inter alia diplomacy, defence, justice, treasury, monetary policy, social security
and part of public health and internal affairs). The Communities are the inheritors of a
movement towards more autonomy in the areas of language and culture. They also
implement policies related to social affairs. The regions have gained increasing
autonomy and power, in particular in relation to the economy, regional development,
labour market, agriculture, housing policy, environment, etc. Each region has its own
Parliament and Government.

At the intermediate level are the 10 Provinces. The territory of the Region of Brussels
Capital is not divided in provinces. The country also has 208 cantons, an administrative
level most significant for the organization and conduct of election processes. The 589
Communes are at the lowest level. They are traditionally politically significant.
Municipal structures are in charge of carrying out the election process at local level.


The main features of the Belgian political party system is the long standing existence of
three main distinct political groups (Christian-Democrats, Liberals, and Social
Democrats), and the split undergone by these three groups together with the whole
political system along linguistic lines between 1968 and 1978. New actors also
appeared over the last decades on the political arena. These include political parties
which emerged on the Flemish side as defined by their position on the linguistic
question in the 1960s, political parties putting forward far-right platforms, as well as
green parties. [1]

There are no parliamentary parties active countrywide. French-speaking voters vote
among French-speaking parties and Dutch-speaking voters vote among Dutch-speaking
parties. The Region of Brussels-Capital is officially bilingual, thus the electorate can
choose among candidates lists of both French-speaking and Dutch-speaking parties.

There is a tradition of coalition governments in Belgium, both at Federal and at regional
level. Coalitions at Federal level traditionally bring together political parties from both
the Dutch speaking and the French speaking side. The current Federal Government is
supported by a four-party coalition grouping the liberals and socialists from both
French-speaking and Dutch-speaking sides. It is led by the Flemish liberals (VLD).



The legal framework in force for the forthcoming elections mainly comprises the
Constitution, the Electoral Code, which dates back to 1894 and has been regularly
amended since then, as well as specific legislation covering particular aspects of the
process such as political party funding and campaign expenses, or electronic voting.

The election legislation was substantially amended by several laws adopted in 2002.
The 13 December 2002 Law modified the election system for the Chamber of
Representatives. It increased the size of the constituencies by reducing their number to
11 and making them correspond, with exceptions, to the Provinces. The threshold for
lists to take part in the seat allocation was established at 5 per cent at constituency level,
and a rule increasing the effect of preference voting was also adopted (see below
Election System). The Electoral Code was also amended by the 18 July 2002 Law
regulating gender parity on candidates’ lists, both for the Chamber of Representatives
and for the directly elected senators.

The Electoral Code foresees the presence of ‘candidates’ witnesses’ in polling stations
and at all other election administration levels. Yet, it does not include provisions for
international or domestic non-partisan observers. Their presence in polling stations is
not prohibited but left to the discretion of the chairperson of the polling station
committee. All political parties met during the NAM have expressed their intention to
field witnesses in all polling places in the constituencies where they run.

One particularity of the Belgian legal system is that the Electoral Code mostly refers to
‘candidates’ lists’ rather than to political parties. Political parties are only referenced
concerning the possibility granted to them to receive a copy of voter lists, and
concerning campaign expenses. Only since the 4 July 1989 and the adoption of the Law on campaign expenses and party funding, does the legal framework provide a definition
of political parties, regardless of whether they are legal entities or not.

1. The Electoral System

The electoral system reflects several basic features of the Belgian institutional system
as well as the linguistic specificity of the country.

The Chamber of Representatives (Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers / Chambre des Représentants)

The 150 members of the Chamber of Representatives are elected for four years through
a system of proportional representation with preference voting within 11 constituencies,
which correspond mostly to the Provinces. The number of seats attributed to each
constituency varies from 24 for the largest (Antwerp) to four (Luxembourg Province)
according to the population figures on the National Register. Five constituencies are
situated in the Flemish region (Antwerp, Leuven – part of Flemish Brabant, Limburg,
Western Flanders and Eastern Flanders) and five constituencies are situated in the
Walloon region (Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg, Namur and Walloon Brabant). The
remaining constituency is the territory of the Brussels – Capital Region and two areas,
Hal/Halle and Vilvorde/Vilvoorde situated within the Flemish Brabant Province
(Flemish Region).

There have been political and legal discussions surrounding the existence of this
constituency, often referred to as ‘BHV constituency’. A ruling of the Court of
Arbitration (since then renamed Constitutional Court) dating back to 2003 declared that
this constituency raised questions of constitutionality, and charged political forces with
solving the issue. No political agreement was reached since then on the shape and
existence of the BHV constituency, and as a sign of protest, several mayors of the
Hal/Halle and Vilvorde/Vilvoorde area have decided not to compile voter lists in their
communes. As a result, these lists are compiled by the Federal Public Service Interior,
in coordination with the Governor of the Province.

Candidates’ lists reflect the countries linguistic particularity. Except in the ‘BHV
constituency’, voters can vote among candidates lists emanating from the political
parties active on their side of the linguistic border. Only in the BHV constituency can
voters choose between lists put forward by both the Dutch-speaking and the Frenchspeaking
parties. In the outgoing Chamber, 88 MPs out of 150 are part of the Dutchspeaking
group and 62 are part of the French-speaking group.

During the last months and in preparation for the federal elections, political parties have
been forming the candidates’ lists for each constituency where they are running.
Although the selection process varies from party to party, it tends to involve, for most
political parties, a vote of the members at constituency level.

Belgian voters have the possibility to vote for lists in their entirety, thereby approving
the order of candidates established by the party (hereafter ‘list votes’), or to express
preference votes by ticking individual candidates on one candidates’ list. Cross-lists
preference votes are not valid. The number of preferences expressed is not limited.

After the results are tabulated at constituency level, the number of seats attributed to
each candidates’ list is calculated using the highest average D’Hondt method. The 2002
electoral reform also introduced a 5 per cent threshold at constituency level. Once the
number of seats per candidates’ list is known, the seats are attributed to candidates
whose number of preference votes reached a quotient representing the total number of
votes won by the party list in the constituency, divided by the number of seats
attributed to the list +1.

List votes (which do not express preference for any of the candidates on the list) are
used to top up the number of preference votes of candidates who did not get enough to
reach the quotient. The allocation is done by following the order of candidates on the
list until the total number of list votes is exhausted. In order to increase the effect of
preference votes, the 2002 electoral reform established that only half of the list votes
could be used to top up candidates’ preference votes.

The Senate (Sénat / Senaat)

Among the 71 Senators, 40 are directly elected, 21 are designated by the Parliaments of
the three Communities (10 by the Flemish Parliament, 10 by the Parliament of the
French Community, and one by the Parliament of the German-speaking Community),
and 10 are co-opted by the Senators of the previous two categories. In addition, the
three children of the King are also members of the Senate.

Similar to the election for the Chamber of Representatives, the election of the 40
directly elected senators involves a system of proportional representation with
preference voting. However, senators are not elected within 11 constituencies. For their
election, there is a division between the Dutch-speaking and French-speaking
electorate. Among the 40 elected Senators, 25 are elected from the Dutch-speaking
electorate (referred to as ‘Dutch Electoral College’), and 15 from the French-speaking
electorate (referred to as ‘French Electoral College’). The German-speaking electorate
is included in the French Electoral College.

Voters living in Wallonia will be able to choose amongst French-speaking candidates’
lists, and voters living in Flanders will be able to choose amongst the Dutch-speaking
candidates’ lists. Voters residing in the above mentioned BHV area will be able to
choose between both Dutch-speaking and French-speaking candidates’ lists.

2. Party Finances and Campaign Expenses

Party funding and campaign expenses were regulated by the 4 July 1989 Law. Its
adoption followed political scandals involving corporate donations. The law established
the principle of state funding for political parties based on their electoral performances
in previous elections. There is no specific state funding for election campaign expenses.
The law allows additional funding for political parties by the Regions, if the regional
parliaments decide so. The law prohibits corporate donations and strictly limits
possibilities for donations from physical persons. As a result, state funding seems to be
the main source of income for political parties in Belgium, with the share of
membership fees in the total budget of political parties varying from party to party.

Most political parties met by the NAM expressed satisfaction vis-à-vis the current
funding system.

The 1989 law also established limits for campaign expenses which apply both to
political parties and individual candidates. Campaign expenses have been further
limited in November 1998. It is indeed a consequence of an election system of
proportional representation with preference voting that not only the Parties are
campaigning but also each individual candidate can, on his/her own, run a campaign.
The law established ceilings of campaign expenses for Political parties (EUR 1 million
per party), as well as ceilings for individual candidates’ campaign expenses. Ceilings
for candidates’ campaign expenses depend on their position on the list and, for the
election of the Chamber of Representatives, on the population of each constituency.

Donations from individual persons are limited to EUR 500 per party and per year, and
each individual can not give more than EUR 2,000 in total to different political parties
per year.

Political parties and candidates must declare to the Parliament’s Supervisory
Committee (Commission de Contrôle / Controlecommissie) all expenses incurred for
campaign purposes during the official campaign period which starts three months
before election day. The Supervisory Committee is a joint body involving 10 members
of each House of Parliament designated on the basis of proportional representation of
political parties. The Presidents of both Houses co-chair the committee.

The Law also foresees restrictions to campaign activities such as : posters on
commercial places are prohibited, the size of campaign posters cannot exceed 4 m2, no
paid campaign advertisement is allowed on radio or TV, and political parties and
candidates lists are not allowed to make gifts of monetary value during the three
months campaign period. Some campaigning seems to be taking place on the Internet,
in particular on political parties’ websites and on political blogs.

3. Validity of the Elections

Each one of the Houses of Parliament is the judge of the validity of its own election.
The validity of the election of each individual candidate is examined by peer review of
six committees of seven elected candidates drawn by lots. These will examine the
credentials of all elected candidates and produce a report on their eligibility. In case of
contestation, the legal committees of the houses prepare reports on the contestations for
the six committees to decide on the validity.


1. Election Administration Structure

There is no permanent election administration in Belgium and the organization of
election processes involves the Federal Public Service Interior – Directorate General for
Population and Institutions, the Judiciary, the local authorities, and ultimately the

Voting takes place in some 10,500 polling stations countrywide, including some 4,000
using e-voting. Polling Stations have from six to eight members and are usually chaired
by lawyers or civil servants. Counting of traditional paper ballots is performed in
counting offices, grouping at least 2.400 voters and three polling stations. The material
organization of the polling is the responsibility of the municipalities. In cantons where
e-voting is used, there are no more counting offices. The tabulation is directly done at
canton level.

Most of the organization and supervision of the electoral process is in the hands of
Justices of Peace who head the 208 Canton Main Offices. They nominate the heads and
members of polling stations and counting offices, have substantial responsibilities in
the running of the e-voting system, and they tally at canton level the results coming
from counting offices.

There are 11 Province Main Offices. They tally the results for the election of the
members of the Senate at Province level. Since the 2002 reform which established 11
new constituencies corresponding, with exceptions, to the provinces, the Province Main
Offices have been merged with the 11 Constituency Main offices, which tabulate the
final results for the Election to the Chamber of Representatives. The results for the
Senate are then sent to one of the two College Main Offices (one for the Frenchspeaking
electorate and one for the Dutch-speaking electorate). The 11 Constituency
Main Offices and the two College Main Offices are headed by magistrates.

2. Voter Registration

All Belgian citizens above the age of 18 who are registered in a municipality or a
diplomatic representation and are not deprived of their voting rights by court order are
eligible to vote. Voting is compulsory in Belgium, and penalties are foreseen in case of
breach of this obligation. Belgium has a passive voter registration system whereby lists
are compiled by municipalities based on population registers some two months before
an election. Copies of voter lists are available for political parties. As of 5 April 2007,
7,600,726 Belgian citizens were registered as voters.

3. Candidates’ Registration

Candidates’ lists are deposited with the main constituency office (for the Chamber) and
with the main [electoral] college office (for the Senate). For the election to the
Chamber, candidates’ lists must present support signatures from 200 to 500 voters,
depending on the constituency population. For the Senate election, lists must present
5,000 signatures. Alternatively, candidates’ lists must obtain the support of three MPs
(for the Chamber) or two MPs (for the Senate). Candidates’ lists for the forthcoming
elections must be closed on 17 May.

4. Electronic voting

Since the early 1990s, Belgium has developed a specific experience with electronic
voting. The 10 June elections are the sixth time since 1999 where e-voting is used on a
large scale in Belgium (some 44 per cent of the electorate).

A 1999 amendment to the Law of 1994 created a control body, the Expert Group
(College van deskundigen / College d’experts), nominated by both Chambers of the
Parliament, and in charge of controlling the use and functioning of all automated
voting, counting and tabulation systems. The control works mostly through analysis of
the source codes and of the hardware before election day, and through spot checks on
election day. The experts are expected to issue a report after each election to the
Minister of Interior and to both Houses of Parliament.

The e-voting procedure, which does not foresee any voter verifiable paper trail, has
been criticised by some civil society and political party officials for lack of
transparency, and the use of e-voting has not been extended beyond the current 44 per
cent of the electorate using it since 1999. It must be noted however that most political
parties on the Dutch-speaking side, except the Vlaams Belang, expressed confidence in
e-voting. Scepticism is mostly expressed on the French-speaking side.

The electronic voting system currently in use in Belgium has been the subject of an
OSCE/ODIHR preliminary study in relation with the holding of the October 2006 local
elections. [2] After the October 2006 preliminary study, the 10 June federal elections can
provide a good opportunity to further assess the architecture and functioning of the evoting
system. A consortium of Belgian Universities is currently carrying out a study
on e-voting practices, which is expected to enhance a national debate on future e-voting
technologies in Belgium, expected after the 2007 federal elections, when the hardware
currently used is due to become obsolete.

None of the interlocutors of the NAM expressed support for considering the
introduction of voting via Internet.

5. Out of country voting

Belgian citizens residing abroad have a possibility to vote for federal elections since
1998. A new law adopted in 2002 amended the system in order to facilitate voting from
abroad. In order to be eligible to vote, Belgian citizens abroad must fulfil the ordinary
eligibility rules and be registered in consular registers.

The law offers five options for casting a ballot : voting in person in Belgium, voting via
proxy in Belgium, voting in person in a diplomatic representation abroad, voting via
proxy in a diplomatic representation abroad, or voting by mail. Voters must complete a
form several months before the scheduled elections, in which they must express their
choice for one of the above-mentioned voting options. Voters also indicate the
communes in which they will appear on voters’ lists, which is where their ballot will be
added. Votes in embassies are cast one or two days before election day, and counted in
the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs on election day. In practice, some 65 per
cent of Belgians voting abroad are expected to choose postal ballot. The mail votes are
sent to the designated constituency and mixed with votes cast locally. As of 5 April
2007, 120,596 Belgian citizens residing abroad were registered to vote.


Matters of language and culture were devolved from the central State to the level of the
Communities in the 70s and 80s. As a result, similar to the political parties system, the
Belgian public broadcaster was divided at the end of the 70s into Dutch-speaking,
German-Speaking and French-speaking outlets. The RTBF (Radio-Television Belge de
la Communauté Française) is the French speaking public broadcaster, the VRT
(Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroep) the Dutch-speaking one, and the BRF
(Belgischer Rundfunk) the German-speaking one. All three broadcasters are financed
and supervised by the institutions of their Community. For example, the RTBF is under
the supervision of a Board of Directors nominated in accordance with the political
composition of the Cultural Council of the French Community of Belgium. There are
also private TV broadcasters, most notably RTL on the French-speaking side and VTM
on the Dutch-speaking side.

There is no national legislation on the campaign in the media. It is up to the
management of the three public broadcasters to decide both on the amount of free
airtime allocated to contestants, and on the coverage of the campaign in news bulletins.
The purchase of paid airtime considered as political advertising is not allowed. Both
VRT and RTBF grant political parties the possibility to air two to three minutes of free
airtime, referred to as “tribunes”, in the last few weeks before election day. The number
of “tribunes” that parties are entitled to is proportional to their previous electoral
performance. In news bulletins, both VRT and RTBF said they have a quota to respect
between contenders. As regards the RTBF, the quota will be 34 per cent for the PS, 32
per cent for the MR, 20 per cent for the CDH, and 14 per cent for ECOLO. This quota
results from a decision of the Board of Directors. While it takes into account the
electoral strength of each party, it does not seem to follow a basis for calculation
consistent from election to election. In line with recommendations from the
Broadcasting Council (Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel – see below), this formula
will be used for the last month of the campaign.

Both the French and the Flemish Community have established institutions in charge of
the supervision of the Media. These are, on the French-speaking side, the Conseil
Superieur de l’Audiovisuel, and on the Flemish side the Vlaamse Regulator voor de
Media. They are mostly responsible for issuing licenses, and supervising the respect of
media regulations by broadcasters. Some interlocutors complained that the absence of
clear rules for campaign coverage was hampering possibilities for legal remedy in case
political contestants consider the coverage of the campaign as inadequate.

Most interlocutors have expressed confidence in the impartiality of public broadcasters.
However, there has been criticism about the broadcasting two months before the federal
elections of a TV programme on the future of Wallonia featuring Walloon Minister-
President and Socialist Party leader Elio Di Rupo. The liberal MR party complained of
what it considers campaigning airtime. The critics also mentioned the fact that the
Socialist Party holds an absolute majority (7/13) on the RTBF’s Board of Directors.
The MR brought the case before the Broadcasting Council. On the Dutch-speaking
side, the Vlaams Belang party alleged being discriminated in Flemish media.


Most interlocutors expressed confidence in the electoral process, and except for some
concerns relating to the e-voting system, no other issue was emphasized as raising
particular significant concern. However, as part of an effort by the OSCE/ODIHR to
follow electoral processes in a broader range of participating States, and with a view to
following specific questions identified during the NAM, such as the use of electronic
voting during these elections, the OSCE/ODIHR recommends the deployment of an
Election Assessment Mission (EAM).


Administration :

Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs

  • Mr Jan Deboutte, Director General Political Affairs
  • Mr Bert Versmessen, Multilateral Coordination
  • Ms Adrienne Lascaris

Federal Public Service Interior

  • Mr Luc Vanneste, Director General Populations and Institutions
  • Mr Stephan De Mul
  • Mr Henri Sneyers

Chamber of Representatives

  • Mr Robert MYTTENAERE, Secretary General
  • Mr Paul MULS, First Councillor, Department of the Committees
  • Mr John STEVENS, Deputy Adviser to the Legal Secretariat


  • Mr Guido HOSTYN, First Councillor, Department of the Committees
    College of Experts
  • Mr Emmanuel Willems, Chairman
  • Mrs Sophie Jonckheere, member
  • Mr Jean-Pierre Gilson, member

Political Parties :

  • GROEN ! : Jos Stassen, campaign director
  • OpenVLD : Ms Kristel van Mierlo, Ms Fabienne Blavier :campaign managers
  • CDH : Prof. Francis Delpérée, Senator
  • MR : M. Laurent Burton, campaign manager
  • PS : M. Gilles Doutrelepont, campaign coordinator
  • SPa : Mr Milan Rutten, campaign manager
  • Ecolo : Ms Zoé Genot, member of the Chamber of Representatives
  • Vlaams Belang : Mr Frank Vanhecke, chairman, Mr Jurgen Ceder, Senator
  • CD&V : Mr Olivier Hinnekens

Civil Society :

  • PourEVA : Mr David Glaude, Webmaster, Mr Kommer Kleijn, member

Media :

  • VRT : Mr Roger Creyf, Head of Foreign News
  • RTBF : Mr Yves Thiran, Director of News


[1The Flemish political parties represented currently in Parliament are the Flemish Liberals
(Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten - VLD - 25 seats in the outgoing Chamber and 11 in the
outgoing Senate), the Flemish Socialists (Socialistische Partij anders - SP.a - 23 seats in the
Chamber and 12 seats in the Senate), the Flemish Christian Democrats (Christen-Democratisch
en Vlaams - CD&V – 21 and 9 seats respectively), the far right Vlaams Belang (VB – 18 and 8
seats respectively), a linguistic party (Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie - NV.A – 1 seat in the Chamber)
and the recently founded Flemish Liberal Independent Tolerant Transparent (Vlaams, liberaal,
onafhankelijk, tolerant en transparent - VLOTT – 1 seat in the Senate).
The French-speaking parties currently represented in Parliament are the Socialist Party (Parti
Socialiste - PS – 25 seats in the Chamber and 12 in the Senate), the Liberals (Mouvement
Réformateur - MR – 25 and 10 seats respectively), the Christian-Democrats (Centre Démocrate
Humaniste - CDH – 7 and 4 seats respectively), the Greens (ECOLO – 4 and 2 seats
respectively) and the far right National Front (Front National - FN – 1 and 2 seats respectively).
There are also German Speaking Parties, which do not play a prominent role in the Federal

[2OSCE/ODIHR Expert Study on New Voting Technologies, October 2006 Local Elections in
Belgium http://www.osce.org/documents/odihr/2006/11/22177_en.pdf