Tervuren political campaign heats up

Anna Cropped3

A shock for Tervuren’s politics has been the campaign photo of 34-year-old Anna De Smedt of Vossem, taken in front of the Acropolis, where the concept of European democracy blossomed in the fifth century BC.

Policy-wise Anna uses right and centre-right campaign tones to oppose ‘woke’ politics, politicking, as well as intrusive EU legislation such as bans on throw-away plastics. Anna also supports fewer laws restricting business and more nuclear power rather than costly green ‘adventures’.

Anna De Smedt’s campaign does pose questions about how seriously new Flemish protest party ‘Voor U’ takes gender equality in politics. Fate, too, has positioned Anna on town billboards right alongside Flemish Catholic Kristina Eyskens, an advocate of family values. Education alderwoman Kristina is the daughter of former Belgian prime minister Mark.

Anna De Smedt is herself standing for ‘Voor U’, set up by a former liberal politician angry with top party positions going to the offspring of traditional liberal families, including prime minister Alexander De Croo.

Don’t vote European, vote Flemish

Completely separate news was that of a Tervuren branch of the European party Volt, launched this week at café Keizerskroon with a debate between former MEP and Tervurenaar Jorgo Chatzimarkakis and MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld.

With more of a liberal centre-left and ecological program, Volt Tervuren’s goals also include increasing the number of elected female councillors, currently at a dismal 8 out of 27. With 43% non-Belgians in Tervuren, the centrist party Volt also aims to see the first-ever non-Belgian on the town council since our Dutch friends fled, back in 1830. And Volt claims it will bring wider expertise from Tervuren, Europe and internationally to town politics.

The only public reaction came from former Flemish nationalist N-VA MEP Ralph Packet. He called on non-Belgians not to vote for the ‘Eurocrats’ party’, Volt Tervuren. According to Packet, only Flemish parties can prevent division and guarantee integration. Packet, also 34, currently works as a politically appointed advisor in the EP. Reaching out to Vlaams Belang voters, N-VA Tervuren board member Ralph may try building upon his 363 preference votes received in Tervuren at the 2019 EU elections. That would allow Packet to become a contender for a post as alderman. This all depends, though, on the N-VA forming a town coalition with the now joint Flemish Liberals and Catholics electoral alliance.

Anna’s campaign page: https://annavooru.be/campagne
Ralph on Volt Tervuren: Watch the Facebook video
Volt Tervuren: https://voltbelgie.org/tervuren

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