Belgium: Gladys Kazadi, 28 years old, appointed vice-president of the political movement “Les Engagés”

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Gladys Kazadi, Brussels MP and alderman, has been appointed vice-president of the political movement “Les Engagés” as part of the renewal of its governing bodies. This is the first time that a young, female, sub-Saharan African is appointed vice-president of a Belgian political party. 

Les Engagés, Social Christian Party until 2002, then Humanist Democratic Centre until 2022, is a Belgian political party, founded in 1968, and classified on the centre-right of the political spectrum.

An internal election was organised on 22 June to elect the new presidential team. On this occasion, Maxime Prévot was elected President while Gladys Kazadi and Yvan Verougstraete were appointed Vice Presidents.

As vice-president, Gladys Kazadi will be in charge of citizen action. “If I have applied for this position of Vice-President for Citizen Action, it is because I know that after months of gestation and reflection to refine our manifesto, our Movement now needs a mobilisation linked to the field and the social realities experienced by our fellow citizens. It is time to spread our wings by strengthening synergies with civil society. It is also time to translate our values into a concrete action plan”, said Gladys Kazadi.

The new Vice-President considers that her function will be complementary to her daily work: being on the ground, being in contact with associations and citizens in order to move forward hand in hand towards a regenerated society is already at the heart of her political action. “What made the strength of the centrists at the beginning of the 2000s was this strength of proposals which resulted from frequent contacts with the associative fabric and citizen movements of all horizons. Those who preceded me had perhaps somewhat lost this spirit and we need to reconnect with this DNA”.

One of the youngest members of the Brussels Parliament

Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), she is one of the youngest of the 89 MEPs elected or re-elected to the Brussels parliament in May 2019. Gladys Kazadi was elected on Sunday 26 May for the political party “Centre démocrate humaniste” (CDH) in the electoral district of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, one of the 19 communes of Brussels.
Gladys Kazadi won the sixth CDH seat in the Brussels region with 2,088 votes.

Born on 20 April 1994 in Nivelles (Belgium), Gladys Kazadi is the eldest of a family of four children, which, she explains, has given her a heightened sense of responsibility and a caring attitude from an early age. She also has the good fortune to be a young woman with a double culture: Belgian on the one hand and Congolese on the other, which she says is a richness she carries with pride. “This double culture allows me to be very open-minded”.

Gladys Kazadi holds a Master’s degree in international relations from the Catholic University of Louvain and a Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Saint-Louis in Brussels. Her thesis for her Master’s degree was entitled “The reconciliation process as a vector of pacification in the aftermath of inter-community conflicts (the case of Kivu).
She entered active politics in 2015 with the CDH, after her studies in political science, and was elected municipal councillor in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe in the 2018 elections at the age of 24. She is also a collaborator in the Cabinet of Céline Fremault, Brussels Minister for Housing, Quality of Life, Environment, Personal Assistance and Disabled People. She was also secretary general of the Humanist Democratic Students from July 2017 to June 2018.

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