Demonstrators demand an end to the country’s 161-day political deadlock.
It is the second time since the June 10 general election that Leterme has given up trying to form a government.
The Flemish majority in northern Belgium wants more power devolved to its own region.
|“I think this has proven that you
can’t form a government that represents the interests of both the north and south of the country”
Joris Van Hauthem, Vlaams Belang party
A spokesman for the far-right Vlaams Belang party, which was not involved in the coalition talks, said the failure to form a government demonstrated that a federal administration was no longer possible.
“I think this has proven that you can’t form a government that represents the interests of both the north and south of the country,” Senator Joris Van Hauthem, head of the party’s Senate group, said.
“You don’t need to be a separatist to realise that.”
However, splitting the state would be problematic due to the difficulties of separating the institution and dividing the heavy national debt.
The future of Brussels, a separate region within Flanders that is officially bilingual but with a large majority of French-speakers, would also have to be settled.