A female Belgian senator has called on the wives of all politicians to ban sex until the deadlock, which has left Belgium without a government for 241 days, has been broken.
Marleen Temmerman, a Socialist senator, has urged the bed partners of MPs, senators and party political leaders to keep their "legs closed" until the deadlock, which is closing in on a world record of 249 days, is ended.
"I call on the spouses of all negotiators to withhold sex until a deal is reached," she said. "Have no more sex until the new administration is posing on the steps of the palace."
Belgium has been without a government since May 2010 after splits between Flemish, Dutch-speaking, and Walloon, francophone, political parties precipitated early elections.
The vote, last June, deepened the crisis after a majority of voters in Flanders, the richer Dutch-speaking north of Belgium, supported Flemish separatists who call for the break-up of the Belgian state. Talks remain deadlocked and many Belgians fear that market turmoil could bring down their highly indebted country if it fails to end the crisis by February 17, when it will beat war-torn Iraq to set a new world record of more than 249 days without government.
Mrs Temmerman has pointed to Kenya in 2009 when women's movements called for a sex strike after a conflict between the president and prime minister threatened to plunge the country into chaos. "They decided to have a sex strike to enforce a political solution and called on the first lady and wife of the prime minister to participate in this physical abstinence," she said.
"Kenyan prostitutes were offered financial compensation if they showed sisterly solidarity and participated in the sex strike. The impact has never been scientifically proven, but after just one week there was a stable government."
Catherine Fonck, a Christian democrat senator, rejected the call. "Politicians are not there to strike. Politicians are there to arouse the country." (© Daily Telegraph, London)