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5:56 p.m. ET, June 9, 2024

Belgian prime minister resigns after his party suffers huge loss in national and European elections



Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo arrives for a summit of European Union leaders in Brussels on February 1.

Ksenia Kuleshova/Bloomberg/Getty Images/File

Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has resigned after his party suffered a disastrous defeat in national and European parliamentary elections on Sunday.

The 48-year-old struggled to hold back tears when announcing the decision on Sunday evening in Brussels.

“I was the figurehead of this campaign. This is not the result I had hoped for, and I therefore take responsibility for this result, it was not meant to be,” de Croo told journalists. “As of tomorrow, I will be resigning as prime minister and I will fully concentrate on current affairs,” he added.

As far as the European Parliament is concerned, De Croo’s Open VLD party also performed poorly, only gaining 5.8% of the vote, according to RTBF polling. The far-right Vlaams Belang party and Flemish nationalist N-VA party were neck and neck, with 14.8% and 14.2% of the vote share respectively, according to the RTBF poll.

In his resignation speech, De Croo promised to allow for a “proper transfer” of power to his successor, stressing that he remains convinced that Belgium “needs a new government with full powers that can take on its tasks.”

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