Théo Lefèvre

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Théo Lefèvre
Theo Lefevre 1964b.jpg
Théo Lefèvre in 1964
39th Prime Minister of Belgium
In office
25 April 1961 28 July 1965
Monarch Baudouin
Preceded by Gaston Eyskens
Succeeded by Pierre Harmel
Personal details
Born(1914-01-17)17 January 1914
Ghent, Belgium
Died18 September 1973(1973-09-18) (aged 59)
Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Belgium
Political party Christian Social Party

Théodore Joseph Albéric Marie "Théo" Lefèvre (17 January 1914 – 18 September 1973) was a lawyer at the Ghent court of justice. In 1946 he became deputy of the Belgian parliament for the PSC-CVP. Between 25 April 1961 and 28 July 1965 he was the 39th Prime Minister of Belgium.

The Christian Social Party (PSC-CVP) was a Christian-democratic political party in Belgium that existed from 1945 until 1968, when it split along linguistic lines.


Political career

Théo Lefèvre was elected to the Chamber of Representatives in 1946 and served until 1971, when he became a member of the Belgian Senate (1971-1973).

In September 1950 Lefèvre became Chairman of the PSC-CVP (1950-1961). In December 1958 he was appointed a Minister of State.

The Minister of State is an honorary title in Belgium. It is formally granted by the Belgian monarch, but on the initiative of the Belgian federal government. It is given on a personal basis, for life rather than for a specified period. The title is granted for exceptional merits, generally to senior politicians at the end of their party careers. It is not lost after a criminal conviction. Ministers of state are often former cabinet members or party leaders. Ministers of State advise the Sovereign in delicate situations, with moral authority but without formal competence. They are also members of the Crown Council of Belgium.

In 1961, after the fall of the fourth government of Gaston Eyskens and the following snap election, Lefèvre became Prime Minister of a coalition government with the Belgian socialists. During this period, the Belgian army intervened in Congo (Operation Dragon Rouge). His government encountered heavy opposition and the planned health care reform only succeeded due to large concessions made by the government. Having become unpopular, Lefèvre lost the elections of 1965 and was excluded from the next government, which was a coalition government of Christian-democrats and liberals.

1961 Belgian general election

General elections were held in Belgium on 26 March 1961. The result was a victory for the Christian Social Party, which won 96 of the 212 seats in the Chamber of Representatives and 47 of the 106 seats in the Senate. Voter turnout was 92.3%. Elections for the nine provincial councils were also held.

Operation Dragon Rouge

Operation Dragon Rouge was a hostage rescue operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo conducted by Belgium and the United States in 1964. The operation was led by the Belgian Paracommando Regiment to rescue hostages held by Simba rebels in the town of Stanleyville.

1965 Belgian general election

General elections were held in Belgium on 23 May 1965. The result was a victory for the Christian Social Party, which won 77 of the 212 seats in the Chamber of Representatives and 44 of the 106 seats in the Senate. Voter turnout was 91.6%. Elections for the nine provincial councils were also held.

In 1968 Lefèvre was again included in the government led by Gaston Eyskens (Eyskens V) as a minister without portfolio, charged with scientific policy (1968-1972). In 1972 (Eyskens VI) he became state secretary for scientific policy (Jan. 1972 - Jan 1973).

Personal life

On 26 August 1944, Theo Lefèvre married Marie-José Billiaert (1918–1998). [1] They had three children.


Order of Leopold (Belgium) Belgian national honorary order of knighthood

The Order of Leopold is one of the three current Belgian national honorary orders of knighthood. It is the oldest and highest order of Belgium and is named in honour of its founder; King Leopold I. It consists of a military, a maritime and a civil division. The maritime division is only awarded to personnel of the merchant navy, and the military division to military personnel. The decoration was established on 11 July 1832 and is awarded by Royal order.

The Order of the Crown is a national order of the Kingdom of Belgium. The Order is one of Belgium's highest honors.

Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Federal decoration of Germany

The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany is the only federal decoration of Germany. It was created by the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Theodor Heuss, on 7 September 1951, and has been awarded to over 200,000 individuals in total, both Germans and foreigners. Since the 1990s the number of annual awards has declined from over 4,000, first to around 2,300–2,500 per year, and now under 2,000, with a low of 1752 in 2011. In recent years women have made up a steady 30–31% of recipients. Colloquially, the decorations of the different classes of the Order are also known as the Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz).

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Political offices
Preceded by
Gaston Eyskens
Prime Minister of Belgium
Succeeded by
Pierre Harmel