Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes (MR) made a political promise when she took office six months ago: on September 17 she would go to Parliament to ask for confidence again. That promise came then to be able to receive support for its minority government, which mainly had to tackle the fight against the corona virus.
But now that the time has come, circumstances have completely changed. With Vivaldi negotiations set to deliver a new, full-fledged government by October 1, a new call for trust suddenly seemed no longer the right approach. The Vivaldi parties agree that they should leave Wilmes in place for another two weeks until the new government can take office.
That does not prevent things from being fierce in the federal parliament today. The oral questions are followed by an interpellation from Vlaams Belang party leader Barbara Pas, which will undoubtedly be concluded with a motion of no confidence.
All parties have already announced that they too want to get involved in the discussion. The opposition will want to confront Wilmes with its promise, the Vivaldi parties find a limited extension acceptable.
It appears that the Vivaldi parties will respond to the motion of no confidence of Vlaams Belang with an ordinary motion, a common tactic of majority parties. As a result of such a motion, the vote on the motion of no confidence will lapse and the next item on the agenda will simply be moved.
In any case, all Vivaldi parties, including the Socialists, who had previously announced that they did not want to give Wilmes confidence a second time, will have to press the green button. With a new government within reach, that should not be an insurmountable problem.