Belgium’s King Philippe on Friday gave the presidents of the country’s two biggest political parties more time — until August 8 — to discuss possible scenarios for a future government.
The king had hoped to break the political deadlock that has gripped the nation since last year’s elections by formally appointing Bart De Wever of the Flemish nationalist N-VA party and Paul Magnette of the French-speaking Socialist Party to start coalition talks to form a federal government.
The two party chiefs had not, however, made sufficient progress in their discussions with other party presidents to begin the coalition negotiations. The discussions with Belgium’s liberals, who on Thursday handed De Wever and Magnette a list of demands, are especially challenging.
After De Wever and Magnette briefed the king on the discussions on Friday afternoon, the timeframe is now being extended until August 8, the palace said in a statement.
“The king has asked them to bring together, as soon as possible, the party presidents, who can provide support for the formation of a government,” the statement said.
Belgium hasn’t had a fully functioning government since December 2018.