ElectionGudie
Belgium

Kingdom of Belgium

1,044,268 9

Population (as of July 1, 2013)

Elections in our database

90.61%

Registered Voters (as of )

Average Turnout

Name Official Name Type
Prime Minister Prime Minister Head of Government
Chamber of Deputies Volksvertegenwoordigers / Chambre des Representants Lower House
King King Head of State
Senate Senaat / Senat Upper House

Description of government structure:

  • Chief of State: King PHILIPPE
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Elio DI RUPO
  • Assembly: Belgium has a bicameral Parliament consisting of the Senate (Senaat / Senat) with 71 seats and the Chamber of Deputies (Volksvertegenwoordigers / Chambre des Representants) with 150 seats.

Description of electoral system:

  • The King is hereditary head of state.
  • Prime Minister is appointed by the monarch.
  • In the Senate (Senaat / Senat), 40 members are elected through a flexible-list proportional representation system to serve 4-year terms, 21 members are elected by indirect vote to serve 4-year terms and 10 members are elected senators*. In the Chamber of Deputies (Volksvertegenwoordigers / Chambre des Representants) 150 members are elected through a flexible-list proportional representation system to serve 4-year terms.**

* Directly elected senators compete in three multi-member districts (Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde). These three districts comprise two electoral colleges: one French college which elects 15 senators, and one Dutch college which elects 25 senators. The German population does not get its own electoral college, but shares one with the French. Electors in Flanders cast votes in the Dutch Electoral College and electors in Wallonia cast votes in the French Electoral College. Electors in the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde district can choose which electoral college they want to participate in. Parties must obtain a 5 percent threshold of total votes cast in their electoral college. Twenty-one senators are indirectly elected through Community Parliaments (10 French, 10 Dutch and 1 German). In addition, 10 “co-opted senators” are elected by other senators. Six are elected by the other Dutch senators and 4 by the other French senators. According to Article 72 of the constitution, the King's children are Senators by Right at the age of 18, provided they take the oath as a senator. They have voting rights in the Senate at the age of 21, although in practice, they never exercise that right. They are also not taken into account in determining the quorum of attendance. Currently, Prince Philippe, Princess Astrid, and Prince Laurent are Senators by Right.

** There are 11 multi-member constituencies. Electors are given a list of candidates from each party. They may either vote for this list, backing the party's order, or cast a preferential vote for a specific candidate. Preferential votes have the ability to move candidates up and down the list order. In addition to a regular candidate list, parties provide a list of alternate candidates. These alternate candidates take office if a regular candidate takes a position as a minister. Party-lists must provide an equal number of male and female candidates. In addition, the first two candidates presented on a list must be from different genders. Following the first two names, however, parties may order their candidates as they choose, without regard to gender. There is a 5 percent minimum threshold for each party to reach in each district, although this threshold does not apply in the districts of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde, Brabant Wallon and Leuven. ***During state reform debates that concluded in 2011, a number of reforms were proposed that may affect the scheduled 2014 parliamentary elections. The Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde district will be split in two and senators may no longer be directly elected, pending parliamentary confirmation of these proposals.***

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Elections

Election For Date Votes Registered Voters Turn Out
Senate 1999-06-13 6,646,028 7,343,466 90.5%
Chamber of Deputies 1999-06-13 6,652,005 7,343,466 90.58%
Chamber of Deputies 2003-05-18 6,936,801 7,570,637 91.63%
Senate 2003-05-18 6,934,678 7,570,580 91.6%
Senate 2007-06-10 7,032,384 7,720,796 91.08%
Chamber of Deputies 2007-06-10 7,032,077 7,720,796 91.08%
Chamber of Deputies 2010-06-13 6,929,855 7,767,552 89.22%
Senate 2010-06-13 6,929,478 7,767,552 89.21%
Chamber of Deputies 2014-05-25 - - -

Voter Turnout