King Albert II will not abdicate throne

Posted by Zotta Rendevouz

Flemish-language newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reported that King Albert II of the Belgians had intended to step down in favor of his son, Crown Prince Philippe. The news also reported that the King abandoned the idea because of deepening political uncertainty in the divided nation, caused by the failure to form a new government. However, this week the palace formally denied the rumor and a spokesperson stated that “This issue is not on the agenda” and refused further comment.

The tensions and divides in Belgium between Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia run very deep. Just last week, King Albert named a new negotiator to help form a government after elections last month were inconclusive. Johan Vande Lanotte, the new mediator, was given a "primary objective" of "recreating confidence" in broken-down dialogue between the parties. The King is viewed as a mediator between the seven political parties representing the two groups. The negotiations between the groups faltered again on Monday when a Flemish proposal was rejected. Issues run so deep that questions are arising again whether the Kingdom of Belgium should remain as one country, or be split into three.