Belgian mayors
Research by Brian Baker and Guy Kervella

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

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Yvan Mayeur, Mayor of Brussels

Daniël Termont, Mayor of Ghent

Bart de Wever, Mayor of Antwerp

Willy Deymeyer, Mayor of Liège

Bernard Clerfayt, Mayor of Schaerbeek

Belgian local government
April 2018: 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 2012, the next elections are due in 2018.

Mayors of Belgium's largest cities

City, size
and internet
(Mr, Ms)
& politics
Popl: 85,000
Christophe D'Haese; (Mr) Elected 2012 Born 1967
Party NVA*
Popl: 118,000
Eric Thomas; (Mr) Elected 2012 Born 1948
Member of the Brussels Region 2004 – 2009. Member of the Belgian Parliament 1995 -2014.
Party: Parti Socialiste
Pop: 520,000
Bart De Wever; (Mr) Elected 2012, Born 1970; President of the NVA* party; Member of the Flemish parliament from 2004-2007
Popl: 118,000
Renaat Landuyt; (Mr) Elected 2012 Born 1959; Attorney
Party: sp.a*
Bruxelles-Ville (Brussels)
Popl: 177,000
Philippe Closer; (Mr) Became mayor in July 2017 following the resignation of Yvan Mayeur over the Samusocial scandal. Born 1971. Lawyer. Member of the Council since 2006.President of Brussels Region Office of Tourism 2006 – 2012.
Party: PS
Popl: 202,000
Paul Magnette; (Mr) Elected 2012 Born 1971
Former Professor of Political Science;
Current ( 2016) Minister-President of Government of Wallonie Region;
Former Minister in Federal Government from which he resigned in 2013 to become Mayor of Charleroi and Chair of PS
Popl: 76,000
Vincent Van Quickenborne (Mr) Elected 2012 Member of Belgian government (2003 - 2012)
Party: Open VLD
Popl: 66,000
Wim Dries (Mr) Elected 2009, re-elected 2013 Born 1972
Engineer; Member of City Council (1995-2014)
Party: CD&V
Popl: 260,000
Daniël Termont; (Mr) 2006-present Born 1953; Winner of the 2014 World Mayor Commendation
Party: sp.a*
Popl: 77,000
Nadja Vananroye (Ms) Became mayor in September 2016 after former Socialist mayor Hilda Claes was forced to resign by the other parties amidst allegations of conflicts of interest. Born 1973. Manager in the Social Enterprises sector from
1998 – 2016.
Member of the Council since 2007.
Party. CD & V
Popl: 86,000
Dominique Dufourney (Mr) Replaced Willy Decourty in January 2016 as part of an agreement made following the last elections. Born 1971.
Party. Reform Movement.
La Louviere
Popl: 81,000
Jacques Gobert (Mr) Elected 2013 President of the Union of Towns and Cities in Wallonia
Party: PS
Popl: 100,000
Louis Marie Joseph Tobback; (Mr) 1998-present Born 1938
Minister of Interior 1992-9; Party: sp.a
Popl: 198,000
Willy Demeyer; (Mr) Elected 1999; Re-elected in 2006 and 2013 Born 1959
Former member of Wallonia Regional Parliament;
Member of Federal Parliament since 2010;
Member of City Council since 1999;
Vice President of PS since 2011
Party: PS*
Popl: 86,000
Bart Somers; (Mr) Elected 2001; Re-elected 2012 Born 1964
Former Minister-President of Flanders Regional Government;
Chair of Flemish Liberal Democrats 2004-2009;
Current ( 2016) member of EU Committee of the Regions for which he
was lead author in June 2016 of a report on combating radicalisation.
Won the 2016 World Mayor Prize
Party: Open VLD*
Popl: 97,000
Francoise Schepmans; (Ms) Elected 2012 Born 1960; Currently also Law degree and former civil servant;
Current member of the Federal Parliament;
Vice President of the House of Representatives;
First elected to the City Council in 1989. First female mayor of
Molenbeek-Saint Jean.
Former member of the Brussels-Capital Region Parliament
Came to international prominence during the investigations into
the November 2015 Paris atrocities which centred on Molenbeek-Saint Jean.
Longlisted for the 2018 World Mayor Prize
Party: MR*
Popl: 95,000
Elio Di Rupo; (Mr) Elected 2000; Re-elected twice Born 1951
Served as Prime Minister of Belgium from December 2011 until
October 2014;
Former Minister-President of the Government of Wallonie;
Minister of State in Federal Government 1994-1999;
Member of European Parliament 1989-1991
Party: PS*
Popl: 58,000
Brigitte Aubert (Ms) Became mayor on October 2nd 2017 following the murder of Alfred Gadenne on September 11th 2017 by a teenager whose father, a council employee, committed suicide in 2015. Member of City Council since 2005.
First female mayor of Mouscron.
Party. CDH
Popl: 111,000
Maxime Prévot; (Mr) Elected 2012 Born 1978; Member of Parliament 2007-2009;
Party: CDH*
Oostende / Ostende
Popl: 71,000
Johan Vande Lanotte (Mr) Elected 2015 Born 1955
Lawyer and lecturer
Belgium Deputy Prime Minister 2011 - 2014
Former President of SP.A
Rooselare / Roylers
Popl: 62,000
Kris Declercq Appointed 2012 succeeding Luc Martens Born 1972. Law lecturer. Former political advisor. Member of Council since 2006.
Party: CD&V
Popl: 50,500
Charles Picque (Mr) Elected 1985, re-elected several times most recently in 2012 Born 1948
Member of Belgian Parliament; Minister-President of Brussels Region 2004 - 2013
Popl: 124,000
Bernard Clerfayt (Mr) 2001-present Born 1961
Secretary of State Finance 2008-2011; Currently also Member of Parliament
Party: FDF*
Popl: 76,000
Lieven Dehandschutter (Mr) Elected 2010, re-elected 2012 Born 1958
Member of Flemish Parliament since 2010
Party: N-VA
Popl: 69,500
Rudy Demotte (Mr) Elected 2012 Born 1963
Current Minister-President of French Community
Former Minister-President of Wallonia Region
Former minister in Belgian government
Party: PS
Popl: 82,300
Boris Dillies (Mr) Became mayor in September 2017. On the day he took office he set out a plan for modernising the council. Alderman for Finance on the Council.
Member of Parliament.
Vice President of MR in the Brussels region.
Party. MR
Popl: 55,000
Muriel Targnion Elected 2015 Member of Belgian Parliament; Member of Wallonia Parliament
Party: PS
Wolvwe - Saint Pierre
Popl: 41,000
Benoit Cerexhe (Mr) Elected 2012 Born 1961
Minister in Brussels Capital Region government; First elected to City Council aged 21
Party: CHR

* NVA = Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (New Flemish Alliance) , Flemish nationalist and conservative party
sp.a = Socialistische Partij Anders (Different Socialist Party) . Flemish Social-Democratic Party
= Parti Socialiste, Francophone social-democratic party.
= Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams (Christian Democratic and Flemish). Centre right.
= Centre Démocrate Humaniste (Humanist Democratic Centre)
Open VLD 
= Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten (Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats)
= Fédéralistes Démocrates Francophones; part of MR
= Mouvement Réformateur: centre right

**Next municipal elections in Belgium: 2018. Every 6 years.