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    Belgium Government - 1989

      Long-form name: Kingdom of Belgium

      Type: constitutional monarchy

      Capital: Brussels

      Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (French--provinces, singular--province; Flemish--provincien, singular--provincie); Antwerpen, Brabant, Hainaut, Liege, Limburg, Luxembourg, Namur, Oost-Vlaanderen, West-Vlaanderen

      Independence: 4 October 1830 (from the Netherlands)

      Constitution: 7 February 1831, last revised 8-9 August 1980; the government is in the process of revising the Constitution, with the aim of federalizing the Belgian state

      Legal system: civil law system influenced by English constitutional theory; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

      National holiday: National Day, 21 July (ascension of King Leopold to the throne in 1831)

      Branches: executive branch consists of king and Cabinet; Cabinet responsible to bicameral parliament (Senate and Chamber of Representatives); independent judiciary; coalition governments are usual; regional governments will be set up in Flanders, Brussels, and Wallonia to administer responsibilities devolved from the national government

      Leaders: @m5Chief of State--King BAUDOUIN I (since 17 July 1951); Heir Apparent Prince ALBERT of Liege (brother of the King) (born 6 June 1934); @m5Head of Government--Prime Minister Wilfried MARTENS, (since April 1979, with a 10-month interruption in 1981)

      Suffrage: universal over age 18

      Elections: held at least once every four years; last held 13 December 1987

      Political parties and leaders: Flemish Social Christian (CVP), Herman van Rompuy, president; Walloon Social Christian (PSC), Gerard Deprez, president; Flemish Socialist (SP), Frank Vandenbroucke, president; Walloon Socialist (PS), Guy Spitaels, president; Flemish Liberal (PVV), Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, president; Walloon Liberal (PRL), Louis Michel, president; Francophone Democratic Front (FDF), Georges Clerfayt, president; Volksunie (VU), Jaak Gabriels, president; Communist Party (PCB), Louis van Geyt, president; Walloon Rally (RW), Fernand Massart; Ecologist Party (ECOLO-AGALEV), loosely organized with no president; Anti-Tax Party (UDRT-RAD), Robert Hendrick, president; Vlaams Blok (VB), Karel Dillen

      Voting strength: (1987 election) 212-seat Chamber of Representatives--CVP 43 seats, PS 40 seats, PVV 25 seats, SP 32 seats, PRL 23 seats, PSC 19 seats, VU 16 seats, ECOLO-AGALEV 9 seats, FDF 3, VB 2 seats

      Communists: under 5,000 members (December 1985 est.)

      Other political or pressure groups: Christian and Socialist Trade Unions; Federation of Belgian Industries; numerous other associations representing bankers, manufacturers, middle-class artisans, and the legal and medical professions; various organizations represent the cultural interests of Flanders and Wallonia; various peace groups such as the Flemish Action Committee Against Nuclear Weapons and Pax Christi

      Member of: ADB, Benelux, BLEU, CCC, Council of Europe, DAC, EC, ECE, ECOSOC, EIB, EMS, ESA, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, ICES, ICO, IDA, IDB--Inter-American Development Bank, IEA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, ILZSG, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOOC, IPU, ITC, ITU, NATO, OAS (observer), OECD, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WSG

      Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Herman DEHENNIN; Chancery at 3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 333-6900; there are Belgian Consulates General in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York; US--Ambassador Maynard W. GUTMAN; Embassy at 27 Boulevard du Regent, B-1000 Brussels (mailing address is APO New York 09667); telephone �32� (2) 513-3830; there is a US Consulate General in Antwerp

      Flag: three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), yellow, and red; the design was based on the flag of France

      NOTE: The information regarding Belgium on this page is re-published from the 1989 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Belgium Government 1989 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Belgium Government 1989 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 15-Apr-03
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