Former PM Sophie Wilmès leads MR's European list

Sophie Wilmès will lead the European list for the French-speaking liberal party MR, party leader Georges-Louis Bouchez announced at a press conference on Saturday.

MR had to review its lists after European Council president Charles Michel, who was supposed to be at the top of the European list, withdrew his candidacy for the European Parliament. European Commissioner Didier Reynders also declined a place on the list.

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Wilmès, who was initially set to lead the Chamber list in Brussels, is now shifting to the European list. "Everyone has made both a personal choice and a choice for the team" after Michel's withdrawal, Wilmès said on Saturday.

Federal vs European level

She emphasised that her candidacy "is not a departure to Europe", as events in recent years have shown that European issues have an impact on daily life, such as the recent farmers' protests.

When asked if returning to the federal level is possible after the elections, Wilmès replied that the European Parliament "is two metro stops away from our party, so I am not far away".

She will compete, among others, against another French-speaking former prime minister, Elio Di Rupo

Bouchez said that Wilmès, who is popular in the polls, can "lead MR throughout the entire French Community, in support of a whole series of lead candidates." She will compete, among others, against another French-speaking former prime minister, Elio Di Rupo, of socialist party PS.

Valérie Glatigny, former minister for Higher Education in the government of the French Community, leads the Chamber list for MR in Brussels. "I have always been interested in federal matters," he said. According to Bouchez ,Glatigny brings the "necessary strength and impact" to MR at the federal level. The two already announced lead candidates for the regional Brussels list, David Leisterh and Hadja Lahbib, remain in place.



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