It took almost two centuries for Belgium to get its first head of government. After the resignation of liberal leader Charles Michel, who is set to become the European Council President, Sophie Wilmès took charge of the country’s premier.
Expressing her delight, the newly-elected Belgian PM wrote on Twitter, “Thanks to all those who expressed their enthusiasm and support for this new role. The road will not be easy but my will to work for the benefit of all remains intact.”
Wilmès, 44, has been serving as the Minister of Budget in the previous government headed by her predecessor. Although the election in May 2019 was unable to give a clear mandate due to which she will be leading a caretaker government, this is a historic news for the European nation. Sophie’s appointment as the Prime Minister is also special in a way that she has become the first Jewish head of the government in the history of Belgium.
Ms. Wilmès, she is a mother of four and is married to an Australian, Christopher Stone. She entered politics in the year 2000 when she became a councilor in the Uccle municipality.
On the afternoon of 27th October, King Philippe of Belgium received Sophie Wilmès at the Royal Palace of Brussels as the customary tradition. Since the previous election was linguistically and culturally polarized, no party was able to get to the required number of seats to form a government.
The Dutch-speaking region of Flanders voted for New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), while the French-speaking Wallonia was dominated by the Francophone Socialist Party (PS). The capital region of Brussels was won by the Green party. This mandate has further exposed the linguistic division that is deep-rooted in the social structure of the country.