Does Belgium really hold the world record for the longest time without a government? A number, including myself
, congratulated the politically-fractured host country of the European Union for surpassing the record held by Iraq (249 days
) on 17th February 2011, but the national daily paper Le Soir
noted this week that Belgium does not yet hold the record
Instead the dubious prize is still held by Cambodia
, who the paper reveals
spent 353 days
without a government between the 27th July 2003 and 30th June 2004.
So if Bart De Wever
, Elio Di Rupo
and the rest of the political heavyweights can avoid finding a solution to their country’s political turmoil by Thursday 2nd June 2011
- 354 days since the inconclusive Belgian legislative elections
on 13th June 2010 - then Belgium can, at last, lay claim to the undisputed world record.
April 22nd marks one year to the day that Yves Leterme
, the-then Belgian Prime Minister, resigned triggering the inconclusive elections of 13th June 2010. To this end numerous media outlets in Belgium and beyond produced headlines and stories proclaiming a "year without government
". While this would mean they have passed the Cambodian record, it is custom for countries to be without government in the period between the parliament resigning and the election held. To this end, in my eyes the timer begins once the election has been held and the inconclusive result meant there was really no government in place.
As a result, Thursday 2nd June 2011 remains the date when Belgium will break the record.