On 22 May, ALDE member party Open Vld in Belgium elected Egbert Lachaert its new leader. In this role, Lachaert succeeds Gwendolyn Rutten who led the party for 8 years. Initially, the elections were scheduled to take place in March but were postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Candidates adapted their strategy rapidly and gave their all in their online campaigns.
Open Vld members chose the party leader out of four candidates: Egbert Lachaert, group leader of the Federal parliament; Bart Tommelein, former Flemish Minister and Mayor of the city Ostend; Els Ampe, Flemish parliamentarian and Stefaan Nuytten.
Egbert Lachaert won with a majority of 61,03% in the first round and took office as party leader without delay. Other candidates received 29,74% (Bart Tommelein), 7,31% (Els Ampe) and 1,92% (Stefaan Nuytten) of the vote.
ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen congratulated Egbert Lachaert on his victory and looks forward to fruitful cooperation.
In his statement following the announcement of results, Lachaert put forward four policy areas for Open Vld: labour, economy, security, living together and sustainability. He also made a pledge for a more participative model for his party, in order to increase the dialogue between the party bureau and its members.
Open Vld also chose new bureau members last week. You can find the names of the 20 elected members here (in Dutch).