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Belgium king refuses to accept PM resignation

[JURIST] Belgian King Albert II [official website] declined to accept the resignation [press release, in Dutch] of Prime Minister Yves Leterme [personal website, in Dutch; JURIST report] on Thursday. Leterme submitted his resignation Monday night because of his coalition government's inability to successfully divide federal powers between the Flemish- and French-speaking communities. King Albert II also announced a commission, consisting of one German-speaking and two French-speaking senior politicians, tasked with facilitating talks on constitutional reform. The group will report on its progress at the end of July. AFP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

Leterme had set a deadline of July 15 for the four-month-old coalition [founding text, PDF, in Dutch] to agree on constitutional reforms to grant increased autonomy to the two regions. Leterme said that the current federation system of Dutch government [official backgrounder] was incapable of solving the problem, since the wealthier Flemish region wanted even greater autonomy and the Francophone region maintained that the Flemish move was meant to completely separate itself from the rest of the country.

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