Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has offered his resignation to the country’s king, Phillipe, after first announcing to the Belgian parliament that he plans to step down, a move that Phillipe did not immediately or officially endorse when news of Michel’s decision became known to the public.
King Phillipe has, instead, remained undecided about the fate of Michel’s premiership, but has asked Michel to remain on as a caretaker prime minister on an interim basis – a role that will see Michel continue as Belgium’s head of government, but with reduced powers. In this capacity, Michel would continue to govern while the parties in parliament seek a new alliance over the course of the following days.
Michel told Belgian parliamentarians that he planned to offer his resignation after legislators demanded that his new minority government be subjected to a confidence vote, which Michel refused to consider.
Unless snap elections are called earlier, Belgium’s next general election is scheduled to be held simultaneously with the European elections in May 2019.
Michel had earlier indicated that he would like to continue on as prime minister, leading a minority government, that would support “a coalition of good will” in the parliament.
He failed, however, in his attempt to relaunch his government earlier this month as a minority administration after the biggest party in his own coalition – the arch-conservative New Flemish Alliance – quit over Michel’s decision to sign a highly contentious UN global compact on migration known as the Marrakech Agreement.
The agreement has drawn heavy criticism from right-wing opponents who say the pact would immediately increase immigration into an already heavily overburdened Europe following the 2015 migrant crisis
— Belgian Royal Palace (@MonarchieBe) December 18, 2018