Belgium's King Philippe officially named Budget Minister Sophie Wilmes as interim prime minister, making her the first woman to hold the post.

Ms Wilmes, a liberal francophone, replaces Charles Michel, who is set to take over as European Council president in December.

She made her political debut in 2000 as a councillor in Uccle, outside Brussels. 

She went on to become a member of parliament in 2014 and joined the federal government a year later. 

Ms Wilmes was selected as the caretaker prime minister by a small ministerial committee, but she has no parliamentary majority. 

Charles Michel and Sophie Wilmes

Belgium has not had a fully functioning federal government since a coalition headed up by Michel collapsed in December 2018. 

Negotiations to form a new coalition have stalled since parliamentary elections in May produced fragmentary results. 

Since early October, talks between the French-speaking socialist PS party and the Flemish nationalist N-VA party to form a new government have collapsed. 

The parties must first bridge their differences before they can form a government and bring in other parties.

The first report on their negotiations must be submitted to King Philippe on 4 November.

Belgium, which hosts NATO and the EU, has a reputation for being ungovernable.

In 2010-11, it had a record 541 days without a government.