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Belgium's political parties reach agreement on coalition government
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Belgium's political parties reached an agreement on forming a new national government on Tuesday, allowing Christian Democrat Yves Leterme to become Prime Minister.

The agreement came after a nine-month political deadlock since the June 10 parliamentary elections in the country.

The Christian Democrats led by Leterme, 47, emerged as the biggest party in parliament after last June's elections.

But he failed twice to form a coalition government due to disagreements between the Flemish and the Wallonian parties over a distribution of power and wealth between Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia.

Leterme is expected to take over from interim Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt later this week.

Verhofstadt has been Prime Minister since 1999.

(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2008)

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