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Sophie Wilmes becomes Belgium first woman Prime Minister

Wilmes, who is seen as an ally of Michel’s and was first elected to parliament in 2014, was chosen by a ministerial committee.

SNS | New Delhi |

Belgian Budget Minister Sophie Wilmes was chosen for the country’s new caretaker prime minister — a first for a woman, the current premier Charles Michel said on Saturday.

The 44-year-old still has to be sworn in by King Philippe, who is expected to announce the nomination formally on Sunday at the earliest.

Earlier on Friday, Michel had said, who is all set to take over as European Council president on December 1, that he intended to step down by the beginning of November “at the latest”.

Belgium has not had a fully functioning federal government since a coalition headed up by Michel collapsed in December 2018.

He has stayed on as caretaker premier ever since.

The political situation was further complicated by a very fragmented result of parliamentary elections in May.

Wilmes, who is seen as an ally of Michel’s and was first elected to parliament in 2014, was chosen by a ministerial committee.

Belgium has a reputation for political crises. In 2010-2011 it was without a government for 541 days — a record.

Taking to Twitter, Michel congratualated Sophie who is all set to become country’s first women Prime Minister, saying, “Congratulations Sophie Wilmes, who is being put forward to the King as caretaker prime minister,”
(With inputs from AFP)