Until further notice, the theory of the local power base remains valid. “Bart Somers’ career is a back and forth between the local mandate and that of prime minister, party chairman or minister,” says De Vadder. “It is an element in our Belgian or Flemish politics that politicians want to maintain the local level as a kind of power base and from there try to jump to that national level every time.”
The name of his successor in the Flemish government is not yet known. De Vadder mentions Maurits Vande Reyde (Flemish Brabant), Stephanie D’Hose (East Flanders) and Jasper Pillen (West Flanders) as possible new ministers. He considers someone like “veteran” Gwendolyn Rutten (Flemish Brabant) more unlikely. “This seems to be ruled out by the text that Bart Somers has distributed on social media.”
Striking: just this evening Jasper Pillen announced that he will be party leader in West Flanders for the Flemish Parliament. Until recently, Pillen was a Member of Parliament as successor to Vincent Van Quickenborne, but has now lost that seat because Van Quickenborne has taken up his seat again. “Roll up your sleeves, keep going,” is his accompanying message.
Former Minister of Justice Vincent Van Quickenborne will draw the parliamentary list of Open VLD West Flanders in the elections of June 9, 2024, and former MP Jasper Pillen will draw the Flemish list in the province, the liberal party announced later in the evening after the provincial conference.