Parliamentary Chamber: Chambre des Représentants-Kamer von volksvertegenwoordigers


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  Chambre des Représentants-Kamer von volksvertegenwoordigers

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  21 May 1995

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in the House of Representatives following the premature dissolution of this body on 12 April 1995. General elections had previously taken place in November 1991.

Background and outcome of elections:

  Following the previous general elections of November 1991, a centre-left coalition Government headed by Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene of the Flemish Christian Social Party (CVP) was formed in March.

The premature 1995 polling date was set on 20 February. Since this came shortly after an expectedly positive report of national economic growth in 1994, the scheduling was seen as a bid to benefit from the upswing in this sector, and as the Government’s search for a clear mandate before parliamentary debate on the 1996 budget with a view to pursuing its programme of economic and social security reforms. In the former sphere, reduction of unemployment, the budget deficit and the public debt were especially targeted.

The ruling Flemish and Walloon (French) branches of the Christian Social (CVP and PSC) and Socialist (SP and PS) parties were mainly challenged, as in the past, by the Liberal Party (VLD and PRL), extreme right-wing parties (Vlaams Blok and National Front), and the Greens (Agalev and Ecolo). The campaign was generally lacklustre, with the opposition, among other things, accusing the governing circles of corruption in having accepted bribes from the Italian Agusta Helicopter company in return for lucrative defence contracts.

Polling for the newly reduced (House down from 212 to 150 seats, Senate from 184 to 71) Parliament was held simultaneously with that for the country’s three regional assemblies (in Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels) pursuant to the constitutional amendments of 1993 which had established Belgium as a federal State. Altogether some 60 parties were in contention. Final results gave a renewed absolute majority (81 of 150 Representatives’ seats) to the centre-left coalition in power, as the right-wing parties failed to make the breakthrough opinion polls had predicted. For its part, the Flemish Liberal Party headed by Mr. Guy Verhofstadt, which favoured radical economic austerity measures, recorded slight gains.

On 23 June, King Albert II designated the new Government, comprising the same partners as before. Besides Prime Minister Dehaene, the members of the new Cabinet included seven Dutch-speaking and seven French-speaking Ministers.

Round no 1 (21 May 1995): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 7,199,440
Voters 6,562,149 (91.15%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 490,098
Valid votes 6,072,051

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Socialist Party - Walloon (PS) 720,819 11.8
Socialist Party - Flemish (SP) 762,444 12.5
Christian Social Party - Flemish (CVP) 1,042,933 17.1
Christian Social Party - Walloon (PSC) 469,101 17.1
Liberal Party - Flemish (VLD) 798,363 13.1
Liberal Party - Walloon (PRL) 623,250 10.2
Greens- Walloon (Ecolo) 243,362 4.0
Greens - Flemish (Agalev) 269,058 4.4
Vlaams Blok 475,677 7.8
Volksunie 283,516 4.6
National Front (FN) 138,496 2.2

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Socialist Party - Walloon (PS) 21
Socialist Party - Flemish (SP) 20
Christian Social Party - Flemish (CVP) 29
Christian Social Party - Walloon (PSC) 12
Liberal Party - Flemish (VLD) 21
Liberal Party - Walloon (PRL) 18
Greens- Walloon (Ecolo) 6
Greens - Flemish (Agalev) 5
Vlaams Blok 11
Volksunie 5
National Front (FN) 2

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 132
Women: 18

Distribution of seats according to age:  
Under 30 years 3
30-40 years 26
40-50 years 65
50-60 years 44
Over 60 years 12

Distribution of seats according to profession:

Teaching profession 41
Lawyers 24
Business executives 14
Social Workers 6
Pharmacists 4
Doctors 3
Veterinarians 2
Others 56

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Copyright © 1995 Inter-Parliamentary Union