Belgium Politician Quits Popular TV Quiz After Criticism

January 20, 2011 Updated: January 20, 2011

The chairman of Belgium’s largest political party, Bart de Wever, announced Monday that he will quit a popular television quiz show, withdrawing before the finals.

De Wever’s appearance in the popular Belgium television quiz show, “The Smartest Person in The World,” has angered many Belgians. The country is still in a political deadlock after 220 days of negotiations. No clear leader emerged after elections last June throwing the country into Europe’s longest-running political crisis.

De Wever, a key player in the political negotiations, told Belgian newspaper the Standaard that he would only get in trouble if he participated in the finals.

According to De Wever, the criticism that he gave the show priority over negotiations is unjust because the recordings took place during the Christmas holidays “when all other politicians were on skis or eating turkey.”

The small western European country has a history of political tensions between the Flemish and French-speaking parts of the country.

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