6 Months After Losing, He Still Runs Belgium

After stalemate, 'outgoing' PM may head emergency government
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2007 10:50 AM CST
Supporters for Belgian unity parade with the Belgian tricolor in Brussels Sunday, Nov. 18, 2007.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Six months after he was defeated in inconclusive elections in June, Guy Verhofstadt is still Belgium's "outgoing" prime minister—and might end up leading a new government. Verhofstadt has met with the king twice and now will try to head a provisional coalition of French and Flemish parties, the Guardian reports. It's a stunning reversal for a man written off as finished.

Parties from Belgium's two regions have been unable to compromise on a new government, and on Saturday the putative PM-elect, Yves Leterme, walked out of negotiations. Verhofstadt described his mission as "very temporary," and it's unclear what form his leadership might take: He could simply continue as provisional leader or head a full-fledged new government.