Belgian politics in 1991

  • Ivan Couttenier


Whereas the Belgian politica! world had planned a calm transitional political year leading to the January 1992 general elections, 1991 was a year of political turmoil resulting in the resignation of the cabinet and genera! elections. The Martens VIII cabinet had planned to implement the third and final phase of its constitutional reform package. However, in the fall tension rapidly rose inside the cabinet. White the majority parties were positioning themselves for the next elections, a row over arms sale licences caused the fall of the cabinet. First the Volksunie left, but only a few days later Prime Minister Martens had to submit the resignation of bis cabinet. In the ensuing genera! electiOns, all the traditional parties lost ground except PW and the losses were particularly severe for the Flemish Christian Democrats (CVP) and the Flemish Socialists (SP). Winners were the ultra-right Vlaams Blok in Flanders and the ecologists (Ecolo) in Francophone Belgium.

How to Cite:

Couttenier, I., (1992) “Belgian politics in 1991”, Res Publica 34(3-4), 347-370. doi:

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Published on
30 Dec 1992
Peer Reviewed