Belgian hopes to form 6-party coalition government

AP News
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Posted: Oct 13, 2011 9:41 AM
Belgian hopes to form 6-party coalition government

Belgium's prime minister-designate says he will form a six-party coalition and end a political impasse rooted in linguistic disputes that has lasted more than a year, a record for a country to go without a permanent government.

Elio Di Rupo says he expects to form a broad governing coalition of Christian Democrats, Liberals and Socialists, each of which will be split into separate Dutch and French-speaking parties.

The country has lacked a full government since elections on June 13, 2010. Di Rupo apparently ended a political deadlock lasting 487 days earlier this week with an agreement on constitutional reforms designed to grant more self-rule to Belgium's Dutch and French-speaking regions.

He said in a statement Thursday that his priority is drafting an austere 2012 budget.