Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, the world's first openly gay male head of state, on Monday stepped down following Sunday's general election in which the New Flemish Alliance Party (N-VA) was the chief winner.

Di Rupo, 62, handed in his government's resignation to King Philip.

“The king accepted the resignation and asked the government to continue in a caretaker capacity,” the palace said in a statement.

Di Rupo, who heads the nation's Socialist Party, ascended to prime minister in 2011, making him the first openly gay man to lead a sovereign state.

Johanna Sigurdardottir was named interim prime minister of Iceland in 2008 and retained power in elections held in 2009, making her the world's first openly gay prime minister. She retired after serving a 4-year term.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel is also openly gay.