Previous Page Next Page

Chapter III

On the King and the Federal Government.

Section I

On the King

Art. 85

The King’s constitutional powers are hereditary through the direct, natural and legitimate descent from H.M. Leopold, Georges, Chretien, Frederic of Saxony-Coburg, by order of primogeniture.

Shall be deprived of his rights to the crown, that descendant described in paragraph 1, who marries without the King’s consent or, in the absence thereof, without the consent of those exercising the King’s powers in cases provided for by the Constitution.

His lost right may nonetheless be re-established by the King, or, in the absence thereof, by those exercising the King’s powers in cases provided for by the Constitution, in the event of agreement on the part of both Chambers.

Art. 86

For lack of a descendant to H.M. Leopold, Georges, Chretien, Frederic of Saxony-Coburg, the King may name his successor, with the approval of the Chambers, in such a manner as described in Article 87.

In the absence of a nomination undertaken in the above-mentioned
manner, the throne shall be vacant.

Art. 87

The King may not simultaneously act as head of another state without the consent of both Chambers.

Neither of the two Chambers may debate this matter unless two-thirds of their members are present, and the resolution may be adopted only with a two-thirds majority vote.

Art. 88

The King’s person is inviolable; his ministers are responsible.

Art. 89

The civil list for the duration of each reign is established by law.

Art. 90

Upon the King’s death, the Chambers meet without convocation, ten days following the decease at latest. Should the Chambers have been previously dissolved, and should the convocation in the dissolution act have been made for a time later than the tenth day following the decease, then the former
Chambers are to return to their functions until the establishment of those destined to replace them.

From the moment of the King’s death and until the taking of oath by his successor to the throne or by the Regent, the King’s constitutional powers are exercised, in the name of the Belgian people, by the Council of Ministers, and under their responsibility.

Art. 91

The King attains his majority upon completion of his eighteenth year of age.

The King may accede to the throne only after having taken the following oath before the united Chambers: "I swear to observe the Constitution and the laws of the Belgian people, to preserve our national independence and our territorial integrity".

Art. 92

Should, upon the King’s death, his successor be under age, the two
Chambers meet as a single assembly, for the purpose of regency and
guardianship.

Art. 93

Should the King find himself unable to reign, the ministers, having
observed this inability, immediately summon the Chambers. Regency and guardianship are to be provided by the united Chambers.

Art. 94

Regency may be conferred on only one person.

The Regent may take office only after having taken the oath as specified in Article 91.

Art. 95

Should the throne be vacant, the Chambers, debating as one assembly, temporarily ensure regency, until the convening of the fully renewed
Chambers. This meeting must take place within two months. The new
Chambers, debating as one assembly, provide permanent cover for the
vacancy.

Section II

On the Federal Government.

Art. 96

The King appoints and dismisses his ministers.

The Federal Government offers its resignation to the King if the Chamber of Representatives, by an absolute majority of its members, adopts a motion of disapproval, proposing to the King the nomination of a successor to the Prime Minister, or proposes to the King the nomination of a successor to the Prime Minister within three days of the rejection of a motion of confidence. The King names the proposed successor as Prime Minister, who takes office the moment the new Federal Government is sworn in.

Art. 97

Belgians alone may be ministers.

Art. 98

No member of the royal family may be a minister.

Art. 99

The Council of Ministers includes fifteen members at most.

With the possible exception of the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers includes as many French-speaking members as Dutch-speaking members.

Art. 100

Ministers have access to both Chambers and must be heard whenever they so request.

The Chamber of Representatives may demand the presence of ministers. The Senate may request their presence for discussion of a motion or a draft bill as described in Article 77 or of a motion or a draft bill as described in Article 78, or for the exercise of its right to investigate as described in Article 56. For other matters, the Senate may request their presence.

Art. 101

Ministers are responsible before the Chamber of Representatives.

No minister may be prosecuted or pursued on account of opinions
expressed in the line of his duties.

Art. 102

Under no circumstances may a written or verbal order of the King diminish the responsibilities of a minister.

Art. 103

The Chamber of Representatives has the right to accuse ministers and to confront them before the Supreme Court of Appeal, the latter alone having authority to judge them, Chambers assembled, except for that which is
statuted by law, regarding the exercising of a civil suit by a victimized party and regarding crimes and misdeeds which ministers may have committed
outside their line of duty.

Cases of responsibility are determined by law, as are the sentences and the manner of proceeding against them, either on the basis of the accusations
introduced in the Chamber of Representatives or on the basis of a civil suit emanating from a victimized party.

Temporary Disposition

Until being covered by the law described in paragraph 2, the Chamber of Representatives holds discretionary powers to accuse a minister, and the
Supreme Court of Appeal to judge him, in those cases established by penal laws and by the application of those sentences foreseen.

Art. 104

The King appoints and dismisses the Federal Secretaries of State. The
latter are members of the Federal Government. They are not part of the Council of Ministers. They are deputies to a minister.

The King determines their attributions and the limits within which they may engage in countersigning.

Constitutional provisions which apply to ministers apply equally to Federal Secretaries of State, with the exception of Articles 90 paragraph 2, 93 and 99.

Section III

On responsibilities

Art. 105

The King has no powers other than those formally attributed to him by the Constitution and by specific laws established by virtue of the Constitution itself.

Art. 106

No actions of the King may take effect without the countersignature of a minister, who, in doing so, takes responsibility upon himself.

Art. 107

The King bestows ranks within the army.

He appoints individuals to general administrative functions and to foreign affairs, but for those exceptions established by law.

He appoints individuals to other functions only by virtue of specific
provisions of a law.

Art. 108

The King establishes regulations and decrees required for the execution of laws, without ever having the power to either suspend the laws themselves, or to dispense from their execution.

Art. 109

The King sanctions and promulgates laws.

Art. 110

The King has the right to annul or to reduce sentences pronounced by judges, except for that which is statuted relative to ministers and members of Community and Regional governments.

Art. 111

The King may not pardon a minister or the member of a Community or Regional government condemned by the Supreme Court of Appeal, except at the express demand of the Chamber of Representatives or of the council concerned.

Art. 112

The King may mint money, in keeping with the law.

Art. 113

The King may confer titles of nobility, while remaining unable to attach privileges to the latter.

Art. 114

The King may give military orders within the limits prescribed by law.

Previous Page Page Top Next Page