By: Steve Dellar | 10-16-2018 | News
Photo credit: Facebook Guy D'haeselee

Belgium – Populists Refuse Support For First Far-Right Mayor After ‘Chocolate Mousse’ Facebook Post

||| Facebook Guy D'haeselee|||

Belgium held municipal elections this weekend which saw (see our related coverage) the populists, nationalist and greens take most of the gains whilst the traditional socialist parties were wiped out in several cities.

One of the big surprise winners was in the Flemish city of Ninove, where Mr. Guy D’Haeseleer took 40% of the vote for this far-right party called ‘Forza Ninove.’

The politics he proposes are linked to the national right-wing anti-immigrant party ‘Vlaams Belang,’ and Mr. D’haeseleer looked to be on his way to become the first far-right mayor in Belgium.

Related coverage: <a href=""> Belgium Election – Populists, Nationalists And Greens Win, Socialists Lose</a>.

Already on Sunday, there were worries from other party affiliates when some of his supporters could be seen making ‘roman salutes’ in a drunken victory party. The pictures were plastered all over Belgian newspapers yesterday morning.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="de" dir="ltr">Guy D’haeseleer, niet salonfähig genoeg voor N-VA <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; De Standaard (@destandaard) <a href="">October 16, 2018</a></blockquote>

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However, the real shock came yesterday evening during a debate of the political party leaders.

Mr Bart De Wever, current mayor of Antwerp and the leader of the biggest political party, the populist NVA (National Flemish Alliance), had admitted during the day that he might be willing to back up Mr. D’Haeseleer and break the so-called ‘cordon sanitaire,’ as he explained forming a coalition government for the city without the party that carries 40% of the votes would be difficult.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">(La NVA) Bart De Wever EXCLUT un duo avec le Belang / Forza Ninove<br><br> Guy D’haeseleer <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; alta mpo afrikaans (@altampo) <a href="">October 16, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Back in the 1990s, when Belgium became one of the first EU countries to see far-right parties rise to political significance, all other political forces agreed to a ‘cordon sanitaire,’ meaning all vowed never to govern with the ‘Vlaams Belang’ or any other far-right party.

However, yesterday evening on national TV, the state channel VRT showed Mr. De Wever during their debate one of the Facebook posts Mr. D’haeseleer had made in the past year.

It was a black and white picture (Belgium has a rough colonial past and once brutally government the biggest country in Africa known as Congo now, Zaïre back then) of young African children in a river under which the far-right leader had written: “Got up early this morning to prepare ‘Chocolate Mousse’ for our feast later on, and, no worries, I’m not using the cheap kind either.”

Mr. De Wever asked whether he would be willing to cooperate with Mr. D’haeseleer after seeing the picture said that his chances for a coalition had just dropped to ‘below sub-zero.’


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