Charles Michel, the Belgian prime minister, resigned on Tuesday night after his government collapsed in the face of virulent opposition to his signing of a UN migration pact from his erstwhile coalition partners.
Mr Michel lost the support of the Flemish nationalist N-VA, the largest party in his coalition, over the non-binding UN agreement, which opponents had claimed would open the door to greater migration.
Belgium is now bracing itself for a snap election as early as next month after Mr Michel said he was going to the king to offer his resignation amid demands for a motion of no confidence in his now minority government.
He had refused to submit to such a vote or the calls from some in the assembly for an early election. A snap poll, he said, would only lead to “stagnation for the whole of 2019”. The next election is due in Belgium in May.
Instead, Mr Michel announced: “I am taking the decision to offer my resignation. I am now going to see the king.”