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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Belgium: Flemish Brabant - Politics


The Governor is the representative or "commissioner" of the Federal and the Flemish Government in Flemish Brabant. He is appointed by the Flemish Government, on the unanimous advice of the Federal Council of Ministers. The current Governor is Lodewijk De Witte, he has been the Governor of Flemish Brabant since it was created in 1995 as a result of the splitting up of the Province of Brabant. The Governor is responsible for supervising the local authorities, ensuring that laws and decrees are observed, maintaining public order and security, and coordinating the response to a disaster which has occurred in his province. He also presides over the Permanent Deputation, however, he doesn't have the right to vote in the Permanent Deputation except in those cases where the Permanent Deputation exercises a judicial function.
Flemish Brabant is that only province that has a Deputy Governor as well. The Deputy Governor is appointed by the Flemish Government on the unanimous advice of the Federal Council of Ministers and must have a considerable knowledge of both the Dutch and the French language. He is responsible for ensuring that the language legislation is observed in the peripheral municipalities of Flemish Brabant.
The Provincial Council of Flemish Brabant consists of 84 members elected for a term of office of 6 years. The last election was held on Sunday 8 October 2006. Six political parties have seats in the Provincial Council: Christian Democratic and Flemish/New-Flemish Alliance (CD&V/N-VA, 25 seats), Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open VLD, 17 seats), Vlaams Belang (15 seats), Socialist Party – Different-Spirit(SP.A-Spirit, 14 seats), Groen! (7 seats) and Union des Francophones (6 seats). The majority in the Provincial Council is currently formed by CD&V/N-VA, Open VLD and SP.A-Spirit. These three parties together have a majority of 56 out of 84 seats.
The current President of the Provincial Council is Vic Laureys (CD&V/N-VA). He is assisted by a Bureau which consists of two Vice-Presidents, four Secretaries, three Quaestors and the floor leaders of the fractions in the Provincial Council.
The Permanent Deputation is the executive organ responsible for the daily administration of the province. It consists of the Governor and six Deputies elected by the Provincial Council from among its midst. The Deputies are currently divided among the majority parties as follows: two for CD&V/N-VA, two for Open VLD and two for SP.A-Spirit. However, one of the two SP.A-Spirit mandates is a shared one, it will be held by a member of SP.A-Spirit for the first three years and from 2009 to 2012 it will be held by a member of CD&V/N-VA.

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