André Flahaut

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André Flahaut
Flahaut 010618-D-2987S-093 screen.jpg
President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives
In office
20 July 2010 – 30 June 2014
Preceded by Patrick Dewael
Succeeded by Patrick Dewael
Minister of Defence
In office
12 July 1999 – 21 December 2007
Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt
Preceded by Jean-Pol Poncelet
Succeeded by Pieter De Crem
Minister of the Civil Service
In office
23 June 1995 – 12 July 1999
Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene
Preceded by Louis Tobback
Succeeded by Luc Van den Bossche
Personal details
Born (1955-08-18) 18 August 1955 (age 58)
Walhain, Belgium
Political party Socialist Party
Alma mater Free University of Brussels, French

André M.J.Gh. Flahaut is a Belgian politician. He was born on 18 August 1955 in Walhain, then in the province of Brabant and now in the province of Walloon Brabant. Flahaut studied political sciences and public administration at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

He joined the Socialist Party in 1973. From 1989 to 1995 he served in various posts in the administration of Walloon Brabant. He has served in the local council of Walhain, in the provincial council of Walloon Brabant and as deputy governor of Walloon Brabant.

From 1995 he served as Minister for the Civil Service in the second government of Jean-Luc Dehaene. Since 12 July 1999 he has served as Minister of Defence in both governments of Guy Verhofstadt, Verhofstadt I (1999–2003) and Verhofstadt II (2003–2007).

In 2009, he demanded the recall of the Belgian ambassador to the Holy See after controversy over comments by Pope Benedict XVI, who claimed that condoms promoted AIDS. Flahaut commented, "The comments made by the pope, who is a head of state, are sufficiently grave, inappropriate, and inadmissible that we should mark, in a symbolic but very strong fashion, our displeasure and disapproval."[1]

As of 20 July 2010 he was elected President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives.

Anti-semitic charges and subsequent lawsuit[edit]

Because of charges of antisemitism brought by the Coordination Committee of Jewish Organizations in Belgium (CCOJB) and Joël Rubinfeld, André Flahaut decided to lodge a complaint of defamation in June 2008, demanding € 25000 in damages and official apology. The Court of First Instance of Brussels in a verdict returned in October 2009 agreed with André Flahaut on apology, but not on the damages. The CCOJB and Joël Rubinfeld are appealing the decision.[2] CCOJB and André Flahaut are working on compromise solution. New CCOJB leader Prof. Maurice Sosnowski commented on the lawsuit: “Rubinfeld was right to accuse Flahaut and right to appeal the first circuit’s sentence, but a reasonable compromise is better than a long and uncertain procedure.”[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ RTL Newmedia. "Flahaut: "L'ambassadeur belge doit quitter le Vatican"". Rtl.be. Retrieved 2012-01-17. 
  2. ^ "Zoom Région - Brabant wallon - NIVELLES - André Flahaut gagne un procès en diffamation". Zoomregion.be. 2009-10-23. Retrieved 2012-01-17. 
  3. ^ Fishman, Aidan (2011-12-26). "Jewish leaders in Belgium s... JPost - Jewish World - Jewish News". Jpost.com. Retrieved 2012-01-17. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Louis Tobback
Minister of the Civil Service
1995–1999
Succeeded by
Luc Van den Bossche
Preceded by
Jean-Pol Poncelet
Minister of Defence
1999–2007
Succeeded by
Pieter De Crem
Preceded by
Patrick Dewael
President of the Chamber of Representatives
2010–2014
Succeeded by
Patrick Dewael