Senator by right

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Senators by right (Dutch: senator van rechtswege, French: sénateur de droit, German: Senator von Rechts wegen) were non-elected members of the Belgian Senate.

If the ruling monarch of Belgium had any children, all of them who were older than eighteen years could opt to sit in senate, as senators by right; if the current monarch had no offspring, the descendants of the branch of the royal house called on to reign were senators by right instead.[1]

Theoretically, senators by right were entitled to vote in the Senate once they reached the age of 21. However, by constitutional convention they did not use this right. Their presence was also disregarded when calculating the quorum; to reach the quorum, 36 of the 71 elected senators had to be present.[1] As of 2010, Prince Philippe, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent were senators by right.[2] When Prince Philippe became King, there were no senators by right.

As part of the sixth Belgian state reform, the function of senators by right was abolished effective as of the May 2014 elections.

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