Only a few days ago Belgian voters elected the first mayor of African origin in the country’s long history. His name, Pierre Kompany. According to the New York Times Mr. Kompany was elected as Mayor of Ganshoren which is one of the 19 boroughs in Brussels.
Pierre Kompany arrived Belgian soil in 1975 as a refugee from Congo. If you are an ardent follower of the English Premiership then the name Kompany should ring a bell. Pierre is father to the famous defender Vincent Kompany who captains Manchester City FC.
In an interview following the election Pierre stated clearly that his win was not for him or his party alone, it was for the whole of humanity. In his words, “My success, my election, shows the direction of the march of history, which is towards a more peaceful history.”
One striking fact about this victory is that Mr. Kompany won most of his votes in the white dominated areas. He also said that this victory meant that Belgium has made a significant advancement in polity. The country has been able to integrate people whom it colonized, exploited and suppressed too far in the past.
Prior to his election as Mayor, Mr. Pierre Kompany has been city councilor in Ganshoren. He held this position since 2006. He ran for this election deciding to use a local campaign. His manifesto included helping the elderly, improvement of soccer fields, and expanding day care availability.
Currently about 120,000 Congolese immigrants live in Belgium which has an overall population of about 11 million people.