The leader of the far-right party in Belgium, Filip Dewinter, failed in his bid to become mayor of Antwerp after his Flemish Interest party came second, capturing 20 of the 55-seats in the city council.
The election was held on Sukkot, which meant that observant Jews had to ask their gentile neighbors to vote their proxy for them. Voting is mandatory in Belgium. Hans Knoop, a retired Dutch journalist who has lived in Belgium since 1990, said it is not possible to know how the Jews voted. But before the election, Dewinter claimed that he would get one-third of the Jewish vote because he is the only one who really cares about the security and well being of the Jewish people. His anti-immigrant party also opposes the growing strength of Islam in Europe.
Because of Flemish Interest’s extremist views (including the forced expulsion of Muslims from Belgium) the mainstream parties in Belgium have agreed not to form a coalition government with it. Knoop said this practice, known as the cordon sanitaire, would continue.