Elio Di Rupo


Elio Di Rupo
Elio Di Rupo
Minister-President of Wallonia
In office
6 October 2005 – 20 July 2007
Preceded by André Antoine (Acting)
Succeeded by Rudy Demotte
In office
15 July 1999 – 4 April 2000
Preceded by Robert Collignon
Succeeded by Jean-Claude Van Cauwenberghe
Leader of the Socialist Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
16 September 1999
Preceded by Philippe Busquin
Personal details
Born 18 July 1951 (1951-07-18) (age 60)
Morlanwelz, Belgium
Political party Socialist Party
Alma mater University of Mons-Hainaut
Profession Chemist

Elio Di Rupo (born 18 July 1951 in Morlanwelz) is a Belgian social-democratic politician and the President of the francophone Socialist Party.

Contents

Biography

Elio Di Rupo is the son of Italian immigrants. His father died when he was one year old, and his mother had to take care of the seven children. For financial reasons, three of the children had to be placed in an orphanage, located at a kilometre's distance of where the family lived in Morlanwelz.

He graduated as a chemist at the Université de Mons-Hainaut (UMH) and a PhD from the same University. He started his professional career at the Université de Mons-Hainaut.

Political career

He started his political career as an attache at the cabinet of Jean-Maurice Dehousse in 1980-1981.

Elio Di Rupo is the leader of one of the two Belgian social-democratic parties, the Socialist Party (Parti Socialiste, PS), and is one of Belgium's most powerful politicians.

Elio Di Rupo is a flamboyant left-winger, and is widely considered to have played a major part in the resurgence of the PS. He is widely known to always wear red bow ties.

Elio Di Rupo

His political career started in 1982. He is a deputy (MP) for the Arrondissement of Mons in the Belgian Chamber of Representatives. He once described François Mitterrand as being "a character from a novel".[1]

He became burgomaster of Mons, capital of the province of Hainaut, in 2000.

In October 2005, he became Minister-President of the Walloon Region after Jean-Claude Van Cauwenberghe resigned amid a corruption scandal, involving several members of Di Rupo's party. Di Rupo continued as party leader though and has had to deal with the PS's ICDI affair that emerged in May 2006.

In 2006 and 2007, Di Rupo and its party appeared unsuccessful in trying to clean out corruption. This was probably instrumental in the party's losing its first place amongst French community parties 2007 federal election.[2] Di Rupo then decided to take a firmer stance against corruption in Charleroi: he virtually took control of the city's Socialist Party and ordered the Socialist mayor and aldermen to resign.[3]

After former PS president Guy Spitaels urged him to choose between the presidency of the party and of the Walloon Region, Di Rupo decided to organize internal elections for party president in July 2007 rather than in October of that year and announced that he would resign from his mandate as Minister-President if re-elected. On July 11, 2007, Di Rupo was reelected president of the Socialist Party with 89.5% of the votes.[4]

Following the 2010 Belgian general election, in which the PS emerged as the largest of the Francophone parties and the second largest political party in Belgium, speculation emerged as to whether Di Rupo could be the Prime Minister in a new government. The RTBF raised questions, however, about whether Di Rupo's limited fluency in Dutch would be a stumbling block in seeking that office, since this was one of the reasons why a francophone has not held the prime minister's post since 1979. In May 2011, he was appointed Formateur by the Belgian king, which gave Di Rupo the task of forming a government. Traditionally, the Formateur will also become the Prime Minister of the government he formed.

External links

Notes

  1. ^ Elio, tout simplement, article from La Libre Belgique, April 22, 2003
  2. ^ The party lost 20% of its seats at the Chamber of Representatives, see also this article that analysis the impact on socialists
  3. ^ See article from VRT News and La Libre Belgique
  4. ^ See this press release and La Libre Belgique

References

Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Collignon
Minister-President of Wallonia
1999–2000
Succeeded by
Jean-Claude Van Cauwenberghe
Preceded by
André Antoine
Acting
Minister-President of Wallonia
2005–2007
Succeeded by
Rudy Demotte
Party political offices
Preceded by
Philippe Busquin
Leader of the Socialist Party
1999–present
Incumbent

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