Martens I, II, III, IV

  • Marc Platel


The year 1980 might become a basic reference year for the study of «political stability» and «governmental maintenance» in Belgium.
Indeed, within this year, four different cabinet formulae have been used.  The first cabinet included the two christian-democratic parties, the two socialist parties and the Brussels regionalist party. When the latter was fired, the combination of the remaining did not last long, for the cabinet fell in parliament - rare exception in Belgium -, by not obtaining a 2/3 majority. Therefore, a cabinet of the traditional parties (christian democrats, socialists and liberals, each split up in two parties) had to be formed to pass the devolution bill. Within a short time, this third coalition broke down on proposals on cuts in the budgets.  A new negociation between socialists and christian-democrats led to the fourth Martens' cabinet. Although the Belgian classe politica favoured a cabinet that would last an entire legislature, all these coalitions arose
from only one general election.

How to Cite:

Platel, M., (1981) “Martens I, II, III, IV”, Res Publica 23(2-3), 239-276. doi:

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Published on
29 Sep 1981
Peer Reviewed