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The mea culpa of a president

The liberal Georges-Louis Bouchez survived the sling that broke out in his party. But it will now be firmly supervised.

Max HELLEFF

The liberal Georges-Louis Bouchez survived the sling that broke out in his party. But it will now be firmly supervised.

From our correspondent, Max Helleff (Brussels) – Georges-Louis Bouchez is a ghost. Last weekend he was said to be politically dead. Since Thursday, the young president of the Reform Movement (liberal francophone) has come back to life through the interviews he gives to various Belgian media. And the least we can write is that he hasn’t lost any of his nerve.

“We decided to improve the governance of the party,” he assured the French-language public channel RTBF. What has happened in recent times has allowed us to take stock of the way the party is run. The objective of this G11 is to be able to discuss, debate, the various decisions. “

In fact, the “G11” which unites around Georges-Louis Bouchez ten liberal personalities – ten “wise men” – must channel the impetuous president and prevent him from taking decisions detrimental to the cohesion of the party. But for the Montois, the new structure should above all be for the sake of efficiency: “There is already an enlarged office in the Reform Movement, with 28 members. We preferred a smaller body, the others keep their status, which means that this G11 has no decision-making power. It’s just a place to exchange information. ”

This G11, which looks like a “mother-in-law”, actually represents for Bouchez the last chance to save his skin. The Reform Movement was literally shattered when its members learned at the same time as the rest of Belgium that “Georges-Louis” had not hesitated to sacrifice the career of a regional minister to reclassify an outgoing federal minister – the maneuver, however, was illegal due to gender equality provisions and the operation fell flat. But also that he had chosen to flatter the Michel clan – Charles Michel, the current President of the European Council, and his father Louis – by giving a morocco to the youngest of the tribe: Mathieu Michel, unknown until then in the highlands. spheres of politics, who has magically become Secretary of State for Digitization in the face and beard of old party leaders.

In Belgium, political dynasties are commonplace: Mathot, Ducarme, Daerden, etc. were fed in the public domain by their respective fathers, formerly ministers. Alexander De Croo, the new head of government, is himself the son of Herman, a veteran of Flemish liberalism.

The appointment of Mathieu Michel, however, comes in an electrical context. Ten years ago, the Reform Movement experienced a deep crisis, crystallized by a war between the Michel clan and the supporters of Didier Reynders, now European Commissioner for Justice. It took a little for the party to explode. The episode left deep wounds.

“Total mess”

The G11 must therefore prevent the Reform Movement and its president from falling back into the same ruts. The party could not recover this time. In the past, other political parties have experienced dissidence which has weakened them for a long time, if not killed them.

Georges-Louis Bouchez who assumes a “total mess” apologized in a video posted on social networks. He acknowledges that “something went wrong” and, frank as Artaban, says he bears “full responsibility” for it. However, he would never have thought of resigning. The arsonist adds, “I don’t think leaving the boat is the way to solve things. When I saw this situation, I thought to myself: I have to solve it. ”


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