ElectionGudie
Belgium

Kingdom of Belgium

1,044,268 9

Population (as of July 1, 2013)

Elections in our database

8,001,278 90.48%

Registered Voters (as of May 25, 2014)

Average Turnout

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

Description of government structure:

  • Chief of State: King PHILIPPE[1]
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Elio DI RUPO
  • Assembly: Belgium has a bicameral Parliament consisting of the Senate (Senaat / Senat) with 60 seats and the Chamber of Representatives (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), 50 members are elected by indirect vote to serve 5-year terms and 10 members are elected by the Senate itself.[2] In the Chamber of Representatives (Volksvertegenwoordigers / Chambre des Representants) 150 members are elected through a flexible-list proportional representation system to serve 5-year terms.[3]
 

[1] On 21 July 2013, King ALBERT II abdicated the throne. He is succeeded by his eldest son PHILIPPE.

 

[2]In accordance with the State Reform passed in 2012, 50 senators are indirectly elected through Community Parliaments (29 Dutch, 20 French and 1 German). In addition, 10 “co-opted senators” are elected by other senators. 6 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. The new State Reform will abolish the role of Senator by Right.

 

[3] 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 in 8 of the 11 constituencies.

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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 Representatives 1999-06-13 6,652,005 7,343,466 90.58%
Chamber of Representatives 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 Representatives 2007-06-10 7,032,077 7,720,796 91.08%
Chamber of Representatives 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 Representatives 2014-05-25 7,157,498 8,001,278 89.45%

Voter Turnout