Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel announced his resignation to parliament on Tuesday, capping a week and a half of political jitters.
The immediate cause was a motion of no confidence submitted by opposition Social Democrats, joined by the Greens.
However, the government has been teetering ever since the Flemish nationalist N-VA party left Michel’s coalition on December 9 to protest his decision to endorse a non-binding UN global migration compact.
Left with a minority government, Michel rejected the idea of early elections.
Instead, on Tuesday afternoon, he called on parliament to constitute a “coalition of goodwill” to govern until Belgium’s national elections, slated for May 2019, according to the Belga news agency.
The Social Democrats and Greens responded by asking for more detail, with a deadline of 48 hours. Instead, Michel took to the floor and announced he would tender his resignation to King Philippe, Belga reported.
King Philippe has yet to formally accept the move.
Michel reshuffled his cabinet after the N-VA walked out of the coalition earlier this month. That move left him relying on opposition votes in parliament, including those of the Social Democrats and the Greens.
The three remaining coalition parties – the Christian democratic CD&V, the centre-liberal Open Vld and Michel’s francophone MR party – commanded just 52 of the 150 seats in parliament.
At the heart of the government crisis is the UN Global Migration Compact, which world leaders endorsed at a meeting in Marrakech last week.
Several countries have backed out of the non-binding accord, which aims to regulate migration, and the N-VA had called on Michel to follow their lead.
However, Michel stuck by his pledge, first made in September, to endorse the deal.