Four Egyptians run in Belgium’s local elections for first time in history


Four Egyptians have registered their names to compete with candidates running in Belgium’s municipal elections on Sunday, October 14.

Belgians, EU citizens who gained the right to vote in 1999, as well as non-EU citizens who have resided in Belgium for at least five years, will take to the polls to vote for their next provincial, municipal, and district representatives.

The Belgian provincial, municipal and district elections of 2018 are organized through 19 municipalities in Brussels; five provinces and 300 municipalities in Flanders; five provinces and 262 municipalities in Wallonia.

One of the Egyptians candidates, translator Youssef told Al-Masry Al-Youm Newspaper in an interview that this the first time in history that four Egyptians have run for any country’s elections at once.

He added that his connections have allowed him to receive offers from several parties to join their list of nominees on the election. He eventually chose to join the third party on the local electoral lists, which according to him has good chances of advancing.

The center-right Dutch-speaking Liberal Democrats (Open Vld) chose Egyptian electric engineer Mohamed Omar to be the fourth candidate on its list.

Another Egyptian citizen, Walid Abdulrahman, is running on the Greens’ lists, while the fourth candidate, Ayman Ghizlan, is competing in the elections through his membership at the Socialists party in Lokeren.

In addition to Egyptians, Iraqis, Algerians and Indians are running for the first time against other candidates amid the Turks and Moroccans semi-domination on the electoral scene.

In the 2014 election, where nearly 8 million Belgians voted in, the opposition N-VA (New Flemish Alliance), had secured a third of the votes from the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders with about 80 percent of the vote.

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