Belgians vote in triple election

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Belgians were called to cast ballots for a new federal parliament, regional parliaments, and members of the European Parliament all on Sunday.

Polling stations were opened from 8 am to 2 pm for paper ballots, and until 4 p.m. for electronic voting. Technical difficulties with voting computers have delayed the opening of some polling stations but were not expected to cause major problems, according to local media reports.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo cast his vote early in the morning. Despite being relatively well-placed in the polls, his party, Open VLD, has been losing ground.

All of Europe is voting to elect the members of the European Parliament allocated to each country. In Belgium, there are 22 seats.

Thousands of candidates are in the running, representing a wide range of parties from traditional formations to populist and ecological movements. Due to the economic, social, and administrative aspects of the three regions of Belgium (Flemish Region, Walloon Region, and Brussels-Capital Region) and the three linguistic regions (Dutch, French, and German), forming the federal government is usually a lengthy negotiation process: from 2010 to 2011, Belgium set a record of 541 days without a government.

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