Analysis of the two Belgian socialist parties leads to a report of partly contrasting situations. The Socialist Party (PS) and Socialistische Partij.anders (SP.a) both experienced a rough (to say the least) decade in the 1990s. They had been part of the majority since May 1988 and had to take responsibility for the drastic fiscal consolidation and to cope with an unprecedented challenge to public authorities caused by the Dutroux scandal. They also became involved in several cases of secret funding, which tripped several of their most respected personalities. Since that time, the fates of PS and SP.a have taken different directions. The PS has recovered a significant electoral and political importance, including winning a resounding victory in the June 2010 federal election and securing the position of Prime Minister for its President, Elio Di Rupo. In contrast, the Dutch-speaking Socialists have suffered their lowest election results, as they have been unable to provide a dynamic and attractive left wing in Flanders, where nationalism and the hard-right — flying the colors of the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) — prevail.


Trade Union Secretary General Socialist Party Federal Election Electoral District 
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© Pascal Delwit 2013

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