Party for Freedom and Progress

Party for Freedom and Progress
French name Parti de la Liberté et du Progrès
Dutch name Partij voor Vrijheid en Vooruitgang
Founded 1961 (1961)
Dissolved 1992
Preceded by Liberal Party
Succeeded by Flemish Liberals and Democrats,
Liberal Reformist Party
Ideology Liberalism
Classical liberalism
Political position Centre-right
European affiliation European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party
International affiliation Liberal International
European Parliament group Liberal Democrat and Reform

The Party for Freedom and Progress (Dutch: Partij voor Vrijheid en Vooruitgang; French: Parti de la Liberté et du Progrès; German: Partei für Freiheit und Fortschritt, PVV-PLP) was a liberal political party in Belgium which existed from 1961 until 1992. The party was the successor of the Liberal Party, which had roots dating back to 1846. It was succeeded in Flanders by the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD) and in Wallonia by the Liberal Reformist Party, Parti des Réformes et des Libertés de Wallonie and the current-day Reformist Movement. In the German-speaking Community, it still exists as the Party for Freedom and Progress.

History

Foundation of a new party

In 1961, Omer Vanaudenhove, leader of the Liberal Party, reorganised it into the Partij voor Vrijheid en Vooruitgang/Parti de la Liberté et du Progrès (PVV/PLP). The new party, among other things, jettisoned the Liberals' traditional anti-clericalism. In 1965 the party obtained a victory in the general elections with 21.6% of the votes. In 1966, the PVV joined the government of Paul Vanden Boeynants. The liberal ministers during this period were Willy De Clercq, Jacques Van Offelen, Frans Grootjans, Herman Vanderpoorten, Charles Poswick and August De Winter.

Separation between PVV and PLP

On 27 June 1971 the party was split up in a Flemish (PVV) and Walloon party (the Liberal Reformist Party, PRL). Only a few months later, on 24 September 1971, the parliament was dissolved. In the elections which followed The Flemish PVV gained votes, but the Walloon PRL lost in the elections.

In this period (1971–1992) the PVV ministers in the government were: Willy De Clercq, Herman Vanderpoorten, Herman De Croo, Karel Poma, Alfred Vreven, André Kempinaire, Guy Verhofstadt, Louis Waltniel, Jean Pede, Patrick Dewael, Ward Beysen, and Jacky Buchmann.

The PRL ministers in the government were: André Damseaux, François-Xavier de Donnea, Jean Gol, Louis Olivier, Charles Poswick, and Michel Toussaint.

Flanders: VLD

In Flanders, the PVV ceased to exist in 1992. On 15 November 1992 the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD) was founded.

Wallonia: MR

In 1976, the name of the party was changed into Parti de Réformes et de la Liberté en Wallonie (PRLW). In 1979, the name was changed to Liberal Reformist Party (PRL) after the merger with the Liberal Party of Brussels. In March 2002 the PRL merged with the German-speaking Party for Freedom and Progress (PFF) of the East Cantons, the Democratic Front of Francophones (FDF) and the Citizens' Movement for Change (MCC) into the Reformist Movement (MR).

Presidents

Presidents PVV-PLP

Presidents PVV

Notable members

Electoral results

Federal Parliament

Chamber

Election year # of overall votes % of overall vote % of language
group vote
# of overall seats won # of language
group seats won
+/- Notes
1987 709,758 11.5 (#4)
25 / 212
3
1991 738,016 12.0 (#3)
26 / 212
1

Regional parliaments

Brussels Parliament

Election year # of overall votes % of overall vote % of language
group vote
# of overall seats won # of language
group seats won
+/- Notes
1989 12,143 2.8 (#8)
2 / 75

European Parliament

Election year # of overall votes % of overall vote % of electoral
college vote
# of overall seats won # of electoral
college seats won
+/- Notes
1979 512,363 9.4 15.3
2 / 24
2 / 13
1984 494,277 14.2
2 / 24
2 / 13
0
1989 625,561 17.1
2 / 24
2 / 13
0

See also

Sources

  • Liberal Archive (in Dutch)
  • History of liberalism in Belgium (in French)
  • Th. Luykx, M. Platel, Politieke geschiedenis van België, 2 vol., Kluwer, 1985
  • E. Witte, J. Craeybeckx, A. Meynen, Politieke geschiedenis van België, Standaard, 1997
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