Leterme I Government

Belgium 2007–2011 Belgian political crisis

See also

The Leterme I Government was the federal government of Belgium from 20 March 2008 to 22 December 2008. It took office when the Flemish Christian democrat Yves Leterme (CD&V) was sworn in as Prime Minister.[1] It followed the Belgian general election of 2007 and comprised five parties: the Dutch-speaking Christian Democratic and Flemish (CD&V), the Dutch-speaking Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open VLD), the French-speaking liberal Reformist Movement (MR), the French-speaking Socialist Party (PS) and the French-speaking Humanist Democratic Centre (CDH).[2]

Prime Minister Yves Leterme

The government received the confidence of the Chamber of Representatives on 22 March 2008, with 97 votes in favour, 48 against, and one abstaining.[3]

It was succeeded by a government led by CD&V member Herman Van Rompuy on 30 December 2008.[4]


The Leterme I Government comprised 15 ministers and seven secretaries of state.[2] Its final composition was as follows:[5]

Minister Name Party
Prime Minister Yves Leterme CD&V
Deputy Prime Minister - Finance and Institutional Reforms Didier Reynders MR
Deputy Prime Minister - Social Affairs and Public Health Laurette Onkelinx PS
Deputy Prime Minister - Interior Patrick Dewael Open VLD
Deputy Prime Minister - Justice and Institutional Reforms Jo Vandeurzen CD&V
Deputy Prime Minister - Employment and Equal Opportunities Joëlle Milquet CDH
Foreign Affairs Karel De Gucht Open VLD
SMEs, the Self-employed, Agriculture and Science Policy Sabine Laruelle MR
Social Integration, Pensions and Large Cities Marie Arena PS
Defence Pieter De Crem CD&V
Climate and Energy Paul Magnette PS
Development Cooperation Charles Michel MR
Civil Service and Public Enterprises Inge Vervotte CD&V
Enterprise and Simplification Vincent Van Quickenborne Open VLD
Migration and Asylum Policy Annemie Turtelboom Open VLD
Secretary of State Name Party
Mobility (Prime Minister) Etienne Schouppe CD&V
Coordination of the Fight against Fraud (Prime Minister) Carl Devlies CD&V
Finance (Finance) Bernard Clerfayt FDF
Preparation of the European Presidency (Foreign Affairs) Olivier Chastel MR
Fight against Poverty (Social Integration, Pensions and Large Cities) Jean-Marc Delizée [fr] PS
Disabled Persons (Social Affairs and Public Health) Julie Fernandez-Fernandez PS
Budget (Prime Minister) and Family Policy (Employment) Melchior Wathelet Jr. CDH


  • On 19 April 2008, Frédéric Laloux [nl] (PS) resigned as Secretary of State for the Fight against Poverty after a scandal when it became clear a judicial investigation related to his time as an alderman in Namur was being conducted. He was succeeded on 20 April by Jean-Marc Délizée [fr].
  • On 19 December 2008, Jo Vandeurzen resigned as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice and Institutional Reforms in the wake of accusations that he and Leterme improperly tried to influence the judgement of the court of appeal regarding the sale of Fortis. Later that day Leterme offered the resignation of his entire government.

Government crisesEdit

In the late hours of 14 July 2008, after months of negotiations regarding constitutional reform and the status of the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde electoral district failed, and the deadline of 15 July 2008 neared without the hope of a result, Leterme offered the resignation of his cabinet to the king. After a series of consultations, King Albert II decided to reject Prime Minister Leterme's resignation on 17 July. The royal palace said that the King had asked two senior French-speaking politicians, François-Xavier de Donnéa (MR) and Raymond Langendries (CDH), and the Minister-President of the German-speaking Community, Karl-Heinz Lambertz (SP), to establish how to start talks about institutional reform. They were expected to report back to the king by the end of the month.[6] However, on 31 July 2008, they reported that they needed more time for the negotiations.

On 19 December 2008, Yves Leterme offered the resignation of his government to King Albert after a crisis surrounding the sale of Fortis to BNP Paribas erupted.[7] Leterme, Jo Vandeurzen, and Didier Reynders were accused of violating the separation of powers by trying to influence the court of appeal and of exerting improper influence by the First Chairman of the Court of Cassation.[8] Three days later the resignation was accepted by the king.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Leterme in Wetstraat 16" (in Dutch). De Standaard Online. 20 March 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Milquet en Arena in regering" (in Dutch). De Standaard Online. 20 March 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2008.
  3. ^ Jones Hayden, "Belgium's New Government Wins Confidence Vote in Parliament", Bloomberg.com, March 23, 2008.
  4. ^ "Herman Van Rompuy named Prime Minister" (in Dutch). belgium.be. 30 December 2008. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  5. ^ "20 March 2008 – Royal Orders. Government – Dismissals – Appointments" (PDF) (in Dutch and French). The Belgian Official Journal. 21 March 2008. pp. 3–4. Retrieved 22 March 2008.
  6. ^ "Belgian PM's resignation rejected". BBC News. 17 July 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  7. ^ "Belgium: PM offers resignation over banking deal". cnn.com.
  8. ^ "Belgian PM's resignation accepted". BBC News. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008.