CONSTITUTION AND GOVERNMENT 411
Tlic Executive Government consists of eight departments, under tlic jol lowing Ministers :^-
President of the Council, Minister of Railways, <(-c., and Minister of War. — M. J. H. P. van den Pcerehoom.
Minider of Finance. — M. Liebaert. Appointed January 23, 1899.
Minister of Forciqn Ajffairs. — M. P. dc Favercau. Appointed Fel»ruary 25, 1896.
Minister of Justice. — M. V. Bcgerem. Appointed October 26, 1884.
Minister of Interior and Public Instruction. — M. Schollaert. Appointed May 25, 1895.
Minister of Agriculture and Piiblie Works.— U. L. dc Bruyn. Appointed October 26, 1884.
Minister of Indiistry and Labour. — M. Coorcman. Appointed Januaiy 23, 1899.
Besides tlie above responsible heads of de]xirtments, there are a number of ' ^linistres d'Etat,' without portfolio, who form a Privy Council called together on special occasions by the sovereign. The acting ministers, as such, do not form part of the. Privy Council.
The provinces and communes (2, 607 in 1896) of Belgium have a large amount of autonomous government. The provincial and communal electors are the same as those who elect the senators directly. Communal electors must have Iteen domiciled at least three years in the commune, and a supplementary vote is given to owners of real property yielding an income of at least 150 francs. No one has more than 4 votes. In communes with over 20,000 inhal)itants there are coimcillors elected directly, by single vote, by citizens enrolled on the communal electoral lists, and possessing :he qualilications requi- site for electors to the Councils of Industry and Labour ; half the councillors are apjiointed liy the working-men electors, and half by the electors who are industrial heads (chefs d'industrie). In communal elections vote by ballot is suppressed, except when there is merely a single mandate to be conferred. Candidates obtaining an absolute majority are declared elected ; others have seats allocated in accordance with thesystem of " Proportional Representation." In the year 1896-97 there were 1,188,208 provincial and 1,124,276 comnmnal electors. To be eligible to the Provincial or Communal Council, persons must l)e twenty-live years of age and domiciled in the province or commune. Half the Provincial Council is renewed every four years, and it meets lifteen days each year. There is a permanent deputation of six members elected, which is pre- sided over by the Governor of the province. All provincial and communal interests, including local linances, are under the care of the Council, as far as they are not provided for in the general administration. The Communal Councils are elected for eight years, half being renewed every four years. In each commune there is a college composed of the Ijurgomaster, president, and a" certain number of aldermen, corresponding to the permanent deputation of the Provincial Council, and both are the organs of the central administration.