BRUSSELS, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- An interim Belgian
government was sworn-in Friday, filling a six-month political vacuum in the
language-divided country that has been left without a full-capacity government
since the June elections.
Belgium's King Albert II formally appointed outgoing
prime minister Guy Verhofstadt as Belgium's new prime minister on Friday, who
will lead the government until March 23.
Belgium's King Albert II (C, front),
interim government Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt (3rd R, front) pose with
the cabinet members in Brussels, Belgium, Dec. 21, 2007. The interim
government swore in on Friday, ending Belgium's over six months government
crisis. (Xinhua Photo)
The King also appointed the other 13 ministers of the
new cabinet. Half of them served in the previous government.
Besides the post of prime minister, the Flemish
Liberals have another two ministers in the government. The Flemish Christian
Democrats provide four ministers, the Francophone Socialists and Francophone
Liberals three each and the Francophone Christian Democrats one minister.
All the ministers swore their oaths of allegiance
before the King at the Royal Palace in Brussels on Friday morning.
The leader of the Flemish Christian Democrats, Yves
Leterme, is one of the two deputy prime ministers. He is also in charge of the
budget, institutional reform and transport.
Verhofstadt, who has been the Belgian Prime Minister
since 1999,is expected to hand over power in March to a coalition led by
Leterme, whose party emerged in June as the biggest party in parliament.
Belgian politics has been at a near standstill since the parliamentary elections of June 10. Coalition talks collapsed twice due to disagreements between the Flemish and the Wallonian parties on the distribution of power and wealth between Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia.
On Monday, Belgium's King Albert II asked Verhofstadt to try to form an interim government to address urgent social and economic issues, including the budget for next year and the rise in food and fuel prices.
Line-up of Belgium's new interim gov't
BRUSSELS, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- An interim Belgian government was sworn-in Friday, filling a six-month political vacuum in the language-divided country that has been left without a full-capacity government since the June elections.
The new government is made up of five parties -- Flemish Christian Democrats and Liberals, as well as Francophone Christian Democrats, Liberals and Socialists. Full story