Belgian mayors
Research by Brian Baker

ON THIS PAGE: Belgian local government ||| Mayors of largest Belgian cities |||



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Belgian Mayors (2019)
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Women in US local government
World Mayors and politics
Voter turnout - an international comparison

Largest cities in the world and their mayors (2017)

Largest cities with women mayors (2017)
Capital cities and their mayors (2017)


Belgian local government
June 2019: In addition to three regions and three cultural communities, Belgium is also divided into 10 provinces and 589 municipalities. The provincial governments are primarily administrative units and are politically weak. A governor appointed by the King presides over each province. Each governor is supported by an elected Provincial Council of 47 to 84 members (depending on the size of the province), which sits only four weeks a year.

Municipal governments, on the other hand, are vigorous political entities with significant powers and a history of independence dating from medieval times. Many national politicians originate from municipal political bases; and many often double as mayor or alderman in their hometowns in addition to their federal and regional political positions. The last nation-wide municipal elections were held in October 2018, the next elections are due in 2024.

Mayors of Belgium's largest cities

City, size
and internet
Mayor
(Mr, Ms)
Elections**
Profile
& politics
Aalst
Popl: 86,000
www.aalst.be/
Christophe D'Haese; (Mr) Elected 2012. Re-elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1967
Lawyer. Controversy in March 2019 when the mayor ‘justified’ carnival floats with Nazi style depictions of Jewish people.  UNESCO has threatened to remove the Carnival from its list of ‘Intangible World Heritage.’ Member of Chamber of Representatives since 2014.
Party NVA*
Anderlecht
Popl: 118,000
www.anderlecht.be/
Eric Thomas; (Mr) Elected 2012. Re-elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1948
Member of the Brussels Region Parliament 2004 – 2009. Member of the Belgian Parliament 1995 -2014.
Party PS
Antwerp
Pop: 520,000
www.antwerpen.be/
Bart De Wever; (Mr) Elected 2012. Re-elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1970
President of the NVA* party. Member of the Flemish parliament from 2004-2007.
Party NV-A.
Braine-l’Alleud
Pop: 39,900
www.braine-lalleud.be
Vincent Scourneau (Mr) Elected 2006.   Re-elected 2009, 2012 and 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1967
Lawyer. Member of House of Representatives since 2014.
Party. MR-IC.
Bruges
Popl: 118,000
www.brugge.be/
Dirk Defauw (Mr) Elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1957
Lawyer. Member of City Council since 1982. Secured mayoralty after 2018 election with support of SP.A after his party topped the votes with 32%. Party. CD&V.
Bruxelles-Ville (Brussels)
Popl: 177,000
www.brucity.be/
Philippe Closer; (Mr) Became Mayor in 2017 following resignation of Yvan Mayeur. Elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1971
Lawyer. Member of City Council since 2006. President of Brussels Region Office of Tourism 2006-2012
Party. PS.
Charleroi
Popl: 202,000
www.charleroi.be
Paul Magnette; (Mr) Elected 2012. Re-elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1971
Former Professor of Political Science. Minister-President of Wallonia (French) Region since 2016. Former Minister in Federal Government. Resigned in 2013 to become mayor of Charleroi. Chair of his party
Party: PS. In 2018 election PS achieved 41% of the votes, which maintained an absolute majority on City Council.
Courtrai/Kortrik
Popl: 76,000
www.kortrik.be
Vincent Van Quickenborne (Mr) Elected 2012. Re-elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1973
Member of Government of Belgium from 2003 to 2012. Member of Chamber of Representatives 2012 to present
Party: Open VLD.
Etterbeek
Pop. 48,000
www.etterbeek.be
Vincent de Wolf (Mr) Elected 1992. Re-elected1995,2000, 2006, 2012, 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1958.Lawyer and Lecturer. Member of City Council 1989 – 1992. Party leader in Brussels Region Parliament.
Party: MR. In 2018 one of only two MR mayors in Region to retain position.
Forest
56,000
www.forest.be
Stephane Roberti (Mr) Elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Social Worker and Public Sector Manager. Secured mayoralty after Ecolo/Groen became largest party in Forest after 2018 elections.
Party: Ecolo.
Genk
Popl: 66,000
www.genk.be
Wim Dries (Mr) Elected 2009. Re-elected 2013 and 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1972. Engineer. Member of City Council since 1995. Secured continued mayoralty following 2018 election by forming coalition with Pro-Genk
Party: CD&V
Ghent
Popl: 260,000
www.gent.be/
Mathias DeClerq (Mr) Elected 2018 Next Election 2024 Born 1981. Member of Chamber of Representatives 2009-2014. Member of Flemish Parliament 2014 – 2018. In 2018 election in Ghent Open VLD received the most votes whilst the PS/Groen list won the most seats. New coalition includes Open VLD, Groen, PS and cdH. DeClerq succeeded Daniel Termont who was the runner-up in the World Mayor prize in 2014.
Hasselt
Popl: 77,000
www.hasselt.be
Stephen Vanderpot (Mr) Elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1967. Member of Chamber of Representatives since 2010. Defence Minister in Michel Government
Party: M-VA.
Ixelles
Popl: 87,000
www.ixelles.irisnet.be/
Christos Doulkerides (Mr) Elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1968. Has been a politician since 1990. Became mayor after 2018 election in which Ecolo topped the polls with 33% of the votes. Former Secretary for Housing in Brussels Capital Region and member of the Regional Parliament
Party: Ecolo.
La Louviere
Popl: 81,000
www.lalouviere.be
Jacques Gobert (Mr) Elected 2007. Re-elected 2013 and 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1961. Lawyer. Member of City Council since 1989. Chair of Union des Villes et Communes des Wallonie since 2009.
Party: PS.
Leuven
Popl: 100,000
www.leuven.be/
Mohamed Ridouani (Mr) Elected 2018 Born 1979. Formerly in business. Member of City Council since 2007. First Belgian of Moroccan heritage to become mayor of a Flanders city. Although his party lost ground in 2018 they remained the largest on the Council with 275 of the votes
Party: sp.a
Liège
Popl: 197,000
www.liege.be/
Willy Demeyer; (Mr) Elected 1999. Re-elected 2006, 2013 and 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1959. Former member of Wallonia Regional Parliament. Member of City Council since 1999. Member of Federal Parliament 2010-2017. President of PS 2014-2017. Retained mayoralty in 2018 although PS vote was down 7%.
Party: PS.
Mechelen
Popl: 86,000
http://toerisme.mechelen.be/
Bart Somers; (Mr) Elected 2001. Re-elected 2012 and 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1964. Former Minister-President Flanders Region Government. Member EU Committee of the Regions. Winner of World Mayor Award in 2016 following support for refugees and diversity. In 2018 election the Liberal/Green list headed by Mr Somers won 48% of the votes and 25 of the 43 seats on the City Council.
Party: Open VLD.
Molenbeek-Saint-Jean
Popl: 97,000
www.molenbeek.irisnet.be/
Catherine Moureaux (Ms) Elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1978
Medical Doctor and Lecturer. Following 2018 election the only female mayor in Brussels Region. Defeated MR incumbent Francoise Schepmans, who was long-listed for 2018 World Mayor award, with 31% of the votes. Member of Brussels Region Parliament
Party: PS.*
Mons
Popl: 95,000
www.mons.be
Nicolas Martin (Mr) Elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1976
Member of Wallonia Parliament since 2014. His party secured 44% of the votes in 2018 election
Party: PS.
Mouscron
Popl: 58,000
www.mouscron.be
Brigitte Aubert (Ms) Became mayor on 2 October 2017 following the murder of Alfred Gadenne on 11 September 2017 by a teenage male whose father, a council employee, had committed suicide. Elected 2018. Next Election 2024 Born 1959
Member of City Council since 2005. First female mayor of Mouscron. Her party secured absolute majority of seats and 47% of the votes in 2018 election
Party: cdH.
Namur
Popl: 111,000
www.ville.namur.be
Maxime Prévot; (Mr) Elected 2012. Re-elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1978
Member of Chamber of Representatives 2007-2009.Vice President Wallonia Government 2014-2017
Party: cdH.
Oostende / Ostende
Popl: 71,000
www.oostende.be
Bart Tommelin (Mr) Elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1962
Energy Minister until 2019 in Regional Government. Member of Federal Government 2014-2016
Party: Open VLD.
Rooselare / Roylers
Popl: 62,000
www.rooselare.be
Kris Declercq Appointed 2012. Elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1972
Law lecturer. Former political advisor. Member of City Council since 2006.
Party: CD&V.
Saint-Gilles
Popl: 50,500
www.stgilles.irisnet.be
Charles Picque (Mr) First Elected in 1985. Re-elected subsequently most recently in 2012 and 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1948. Member of Chamber of Representatives. Minister-President of Brussels Region 2004-2013. Speaker of Regional Parliament since 2014. Party. PS.
Schaerbeek
Popl: 124,000
www.schaerbeek.be/
Bernard Clerfayt (Mr) Elected 2001. Re-elected 2006, 2012 and 2018. Next election 2024. Born 1961
Secretary of State Finance 2008-2011. Member of Chamber of Representatives. Vice President of FDF. Fielded his own slate of candidates in 2018 and they secured top position with 31% of the votes.
Party: FDF.
Sint-Niklaus
Popl: 77,000
www.sint-niklaus.be
Lieven Dehandschutter (Mr) Elected 2010. Re-elected 2012 and 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1958
Member of Flemish Parliament since 2010
Party: N-VA. Following 2018 election leads a fairly ‘rainbow’ administration.
Tournai
Popl: 69,500
www.tournai.be
Paul Olivier Delannois (Mr Elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1966
Member of Chamber of Representatives since 2014. First Alderman of Tournai 2010-2018. After 2018 elections in which his party won 36% of the votes a PS Ecolo coalition was formed replacing the previous PS MR coalition
Party: PS.
Turnhout
Pop 43,500
www.turnhout.be
Paul van Miert (Mr) Elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1965. Employed in corporate marketing before becoming full-time politician. Member of Flemish Parliament since 2015. Formerly member of the Oud Turnhout city council
Party: NV-A.
Uccle
Popl: 82,300
www.uccle.be
Boris Dillies (Mr) Became Mayor in 2017. Elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1972
Member of Federal Parliament. Proposed modernisation plan in 2017. His party topped the poll in 2018 with 33% of the votes. Formed administration with second placed Ecolo.
Party: MR.
Verviers
Popl: 55,000
www.verviers.be
Muriel Targnion (Ms) Became mayor in 2015 following breakdown of administration and its replacement with a PS cdh coalition. Elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1971
Member of City Council since 2000. From 2003 until 2012 led on economic affairs and major events. Member of Belgian Parliament. Member of Wallonia Parliament.  Co-founded Fiesta Festival
Party: PS. Following dispute over demonstration role she took six months medical leave in February 2019.
Wolvwe - Saint Pierre
Popl: 41,000
www.wolvwe-Saint
Benoit Cerexhe (Mr) Elected 2012. Re-elected 2018. Next Election 2024. Born 1961
Member of the Brussels Region Parliament since 2014. Former Regional Minister. Member of City Council since 1982.
Party. cdH. Governs in co:lition with Ecolo.
Woluwe-Saint Lambert
Pop. 56,000
www.woluwu1200.be
Olivier Maingain (Mr) Elected 2018. Next Election 2024.  Born 1958
Lawyer. Member of Chamber of Representatives since 1991. Member of the Council since 2006. Former member of Brussels City Council. President of his political party
Party: FDF.

* NVA = Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (New Flemish Alliance) , Flemish nationalist and conservative party
sp.a = Socialistische Partij Anders (Different Socialist Party) . Flemish Social-Democratic Party
PS 
= Parti Socialiste, Francophone social-democratic party.
CD&V 
= Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams (Christian Democratic and Flemish). Centre right.
CDH 
= Centre Démocrate Humaniste (Humanist Democratic Centre)
Open VLD 
= Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten (Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats)
FDF 
= Fédéralistes Démocrates Francophones; part of MR
MR 
= Mouvement Réformateur: centre right
Ecolo
= Green party active Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium, Brussels and the German-speaking part of the country

**Next municipal elections in Belgium: 2024. Every 6 years.