Conservative Christian Democrats win in Belgium

June 8, 2009 00:39

The conservative Christian Democrats have won European parliament elections in Belgium, reinforcing the party's victory in a parallel vote for assemblies of the country's Dutch and French-speaking regions. Former Premier Jean-Luc Dehaene's Christian Democrats took 15.2 percent of the vote, with the Liberals of another former prime minister, Guy Verhofstadt, finishing second on 13 percent. The big loser on Sunday was the anti-immigrant, far-right Flemish Interest party, which dropped to 10.6 percent of the vote from 14.3 in the 2004 EU election. The Ecolo green party was the biggest surprise, more than doubling its vote to reach 7.9 percent. The PS Francophone socialists dropped 3.5 points to finish at 10 percent. Belgium, with 10.5 million people, has 22 seats in the EU's 736-seat parliament.

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