A Belgian Government, at Last

Late-night deal puts defeated PM in charge of interim coalition
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2007 10:44 AM CST
Belgium's Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, shares a laugh as he casts his vote at a polling station in Ghent, Belgium, Sunday, June 10, 2007.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Six months after inconclusive elections, Belgium will finally get a new government, thanks to a deal struck overnight. The emergency administration, to be led by "outgoing" prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, will include five parties from both French- and Dutch-speaking Belgium and will only govern until March 23, when the binational kingdom will once again go to the polls, reports Deutsche Welle. "The crisis is over for Belgium," said one minister.

Verhofstadt was defeated in the June 10 elections, but squabbling among parties prevented the seeming PM-elect, Yves Leterme, from forming a government. This new interim administration will be able to pass a budget and continue state reforms that have been stalled for months. The five-party coalition includes liberals and Christian democratic parties from both Flanders and Wallonia plus a French socialist party.