Roald Smeets – The Christian Democratic
08/26/2012 § Leave a comment
Roald Smeets – The Christian Democratic and Flemish (Dutch: About this sound Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams (help·info), CD&V) is a political party of Belgium, formerly called Christian People’s Party (Christelijke Volkspartij, CVP). It is a centrist Flemish party committed to Christian democracy, with historic ties to both labour unionism (ACV) and corporative organization as UNIZO and the Farmer’s League.
As of the 2007 elections, it formed the largest political formation in Belgium until the 2010 elections, which led to a major loss. Currently, CD&V is the major member of the Flemish Government led by Kris Peeters and the second largest party in the Belgian federal government.
The history of the CD&V dates back to the 19th century. It originated in the 19th century catholic party, or ‘parti conservateur’ (conservative party). At the end of the century, the new fraction of the so-called Christian-democrats shifted the focus of the party slightly to the left. In the interwar years the party was renamed Catholic Block. Then, the Christian Social Party (PSC-CVP) existed from 1944 until 1968. In 1968, the PSC-CVP was split into to the (Walloon) PSC (now Humanist Democratic Centre) and (Flemish) CVP. In 1999 the CVP became the CD&V.
The party was almost continually in power from its establishment until 1999. From 2003 it has been led by Yves Leterme, and before that was led by Stefaan De Clerck. Now it is led by Jo Vandeurzen. Despite its optimistic predictions, it came third in the 2003 elections, coming behind the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD) and the SP.A-Spirit cartel. Much of its predominantly rural support was taken by the nationalist party Vlaams Blok.
CD&V led the opposition to VLD prime minister Guy Verhofstadt who had formed a center-left coalition between liberals, socialists and greens in 1999 on the federal and Flemish Government level. In 2003 CD&V again lost the federal elections which continuated the federal center-left coalition, but this time without the Greens. On 13 June 2004 Flemish elections were held alongside European elections. CD&V led by Yves Leterme won these elections, partly by forming a cartel with the moderate nationalist N-VA, and retook its historic position as largest party in Flanders. On the 20th of July 2004 Yves Leterme presented the new Flemish Government and was sworn into office as the new Minister-President of Flanders. He negotiated a coalition of VLD, SP.A-Spirit and CD&V/N-VA.
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