Open VLD nominates MP Tom Ongena as new leader

Members of Flemish liberal party Open VLD have nominated MP Tom Ongena as their new leader. The party met on Tuesday evening in Brussels to decide who would succeed Egbert Lachaert, who stepped down from the position last week in the wake of disappointing poll results.

Prime minister and party colleague Alexander De Croo has been acting leader while the party looked for a successor. Ongena has been nominated to lead the party in the run-up to next year's elections.

"I am convinced that Flanders needs a strong liberal party," said Ongena. "I know the party through and through, and I will work hard." ​

Belgium will hold local, regional and federal elections on 9 June next year. "We are in a difficult period," Ongena said, "but we still have about a year to go and I am convinced that we can move forward as a liberal party if, all facing in the same direction, we work very hard."

Party members will have their say on the nomination at a congress expected to be held in September.



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