This is a photo by one of Helga’s campaigners. The Belgium election results can be found on this website.
Helga Stevens provides more information in Flemish Sign Language and Dutch; for those interested in knowing more about her and her party, details can be found here. Please note, this is not in English. You can use Babelfish, for a rough translation.
Helga will be taking her oath on 6 July 2004, and attending an information session on the 23 June 2004; with the real work starting in September.
The Flemish parliament has agreed to hire Sign Language Interpreters, and make the necessary adaptations to ensure that she can function equally as any other MP.
Helga Stevens, EUD Director and a Deaf lawyer, has been elected into the Belgian Regional Parliament of Vlandern.
Belguim has two regional parliaments: Vlandern and Wallonie
Helga was elected for the CD&V/N-VA cartel for a five-year period. N-VA is Helga’s party.
N-VA = Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (= New Flemish Alliance in English)
CD&V = Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams (= Christian Democrat and Flemish)
Helga got 17,870 personal votes which resulted in a place as number 4 of the 7 elected candidates for Oost-Vlandern. In total 35 seats were won in the Flemish Parliament; making it the majority party in the Flemish Parliament.
Helga is likely to be the first Deaf born candidate elected directly into a parliament within Europe.
Today are the national elections in Belgium, and Helga Stevens, a Deaf Lawyer, is standing for parliament. Her bilingual election website can be found here.
One would hope that more Deaf people need to stand in elections, to bring our presence into the mainstream, as well as having an influence on the legislative agenda.