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Belgium Names Prime Minister, 9 Months After Election

Belgium's king has formally appointed a new prime minister, more than nine months after elections were held.

King Albert named Flemish Christian Democrat leader Yves Leterme Thursday to lead a coalition government that will include five parties.

The nine-month delay in forming a government was the result of disputes over regional autonomy between Dutch and French speaking parties. There had been fears that the impasse could lead to the break up of Belgium.

The majority Flemish population, concentrated in the north of the country, demanded more of a say in running their own region, prompting fears of a split with the mostly French-speaking south.

The new cabinet will be drawn from three Francophone and two Flemish parties.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.