Gwendolyn Rutten (Open VLD) has been sworn in as Flemish minister. This concludes the succession of Bart Somers. The opposition took aim at the musical chairs.
Gwendolyn Rutten (Open VLD) took the oath as Flemish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Administrative Affairs, Integration and Equal Opportunities in the hands of Flemish Parliament President Liesbeth Homans (N-VA). She succeeds Bart Somers (Open VLD), who resigned at the beginning of this week.
The swearing-in ceremony only took place after the current questions because Prime Minister Jan Jambon (N-VA) was still on his way back from a business trip to Morocco.
Rutten will be replaced as MP by former Clouseau drummer Bob Savenberg.
The swearing-in ceremony was accompanied by a lot of criticism from the opposition. The PVDA and Vlaams Belang, among others, fired shots and talked about an ‘absolute low point’ and ‘postal grab’. Jos D’Haese (PVDA) fulminated that ‘the positions in the government are used to solve the feuds within the liberal party.’
“We have known for some time that this government was hanging in the balance, but this is still a low point,” said Hannelore Goeman (Vooruit). ‘Ministers are leaving. I find this very sad for Flanders.’
Mieke Schauvliege (Green) also watched the musical chairs with horror. ‘This shows the lack of ambition of this Flemish government. There is so much work on the table and you are busy with posts. Downright shameful.’
Prime Minister Jan Jambon (N-VA) called the criticism ‘intellectually unfair’. ‘Of course I would have preferred that Bart Somers had stayed, but it is up to the party to replace him. It is now up to me to continue working with the new colleague, an experienced politician.’