Belgium gets first female PM as Sophie Wilmès takes office

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Belgium gets first female PM as Sophie Wilmès takes office

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Belgium’s first female prime minister in its 189-year history has taken office, after Sophie Wilmès was named as the head of the country’s next caretaker government.

Wilmès succeeds the liberal leader Charles Michel, who will become president of the European council on 1 December. Her role has been described as a poisoned chalice, as linguistically divided parties struggle to form a government.

Belgium has had a caretaker government since December last year when Michel’s four-party coalition collapsed as the Flemish nationalists quit in protest at a UN migration pact.

Elections in late May have so far failed to yield a fresh government and reinforced the country’s political divide, with the wealthier Dutch-speaking Flemish north voting in large numbers for the nationalist right, while the francophone south handed victory to traditional socialists.

Click here to read the full article published by The Guardian on 28 October 2019.

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