The Flemish Parliament on Wednesday approved the decree that establishes the legal basis for organizing the next local and regional elections in October 2024. The decree of Interior Minister Bart Sommers not only sets the procedures, but also amends a number of matters. . This will relax the rules surrounding the spending of campaign funds. As in the European, federal and Flemish elections, people will also be able to refuse to participate in the next local and regional elections if they are called for a third time.
Anyone who has questions about the rules and developments of the upcoming elections, regional and local, can now visit the website www.vlaanderenkiest.be. Several innovations have already been approved, such as abolishing mandatory attendance, limiting the influence of list voting, and the semi-direct election of the mayor.
The current decree establishes the legal basis for organizing local and regional elections scheduled for October 13, 2024. It simultaneously eliminates a number of deficiencies and introduces a number of reforms. For example, a number of things are being digitized and rules surrounding campaign resources are being relaxed. A number of (old) restrictions are deleted. From now on, election banners larger than 4 square meters will also be allowed, as will commercials on radio or television. The ban on distributing or selling gifts and tools and conducting telephone campaigns remains in effect.
The decree also provides for more accurate election results. They can be counted and reported by geographical sub-area, for example at the district level.
To address the problem of legally binding preliminary agreements, a model instrument for the nomination of the mayor and local council members will be introduced. The model bond itself will not be issued until the evening of Election Day itself. This would address the phenomenon of pre-signed nomination documents.
Anyone who has been called twice as an assistant will now also be able to decline a third call. “With this amendment, we are showing understanding for people who have already done their civic duty many times over,” Sommers says. “Anyone who is called more than twice and wants to sit down can still do so. But for those for whom this has been enough, we as a government want to be fair.” The upcoming exemption does not apply to presidents and secretaries.
The entire opposition abstained from voting.
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