King Philippe asks PM to stay on after res­ig­na­tion

The Guardian Weekly - - Global report -

The king of Bel­gium has ac­cepted the res­ig­na­tion of Charles Michel as prime min­is­ter but asked him to stay on at the head of a care­taker gov­ern­ment un­til elec­tions are held in May.

Michel, a Fran­co­phone lib­eral, had led a four-party coali­tion gov­ern­ment that fell ear­lier this month when the largest party, the New Flem­ish Al­liance (N-VA), quit over ob­jec­tions to a UN mi­gra­tion pact.

Sub­se­quent ef­forts to re­launch as a mi­nor­ity ad­min­is­tra­tion failed and Michel sub­mit­ted his res­ig­na­tion in De­cem­ber after los­ing a con­fi­dence vote.

The Bel­gian king ac­cepted Michel’s res­ig­na­tion after meet­ing lead­ers from most of Bel­gium’s po­lit­i­cal par­ties at the palace in re­cent days.

A state­ment from the palace car­ried by state broad­caster RTBF said King Philippe had asked Michel to lead a gov­ern­ment of “cur­rent af­fairs”, ef­fec­tively a care­taker ad­min­is­tra­tion. The king said that fol­low­ing his meet­ings he saw “po­lit­i­cal will to guar­an­tee the good man­age­ment of the coun­try un­til the next elec­tions.

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