Luxembourgers go to the polls

The Chamber of Deputies by Ex13 (CC BY-SA 3.0), source

The election

On October 14th the citizens of Luxembourg are set to elect new members of the Chamber of Deputies, the country’s 60-member unicameral parliament, for a five-year term. Luxembourg is, along with Belgium, one of the few countries where casting a ballot is mandatory for all citizens eligible to vote.

As publishing opinion polls or commenting on them is, under Luxembourgish electoral law, not allowed within five days of an election, we refrain from from doing so. Below you can find a short rundown on parties that presented their lists in all constituencies instead.

The Pirate Party

As a relatively new party, only founded in 2009, Pirate Party Luxembourg has not yet been represented in the Chamber. According to the party itself, it is “guided by the principles of freedom with responsibility for everybody”. Initially the party focused, just like other members of the Pirate Parties International, on transparency of government, protection of privacy and citizens’ rights, as well as on modern technological questions, but grew to “apply the same principles to more and more policies”.

The Greens

Part of the currently governing coalition, The Greens are a centre-left movement declaring support for social justice, human rights and sustainable development. Among its fundamentals, its members also cite participatory democracy, gender equality, rejection of violence and opposition to nuclear power. The party is openly euroenthusiastic.

Socialist Workers’ Party

The LSAP stands for the working class and follows the idea of social democracy. It was formed in 1902 and has been a part of the government many times before. The social democrats formed a coalition with Jean-Claude Juncker’s Christian Social People’s Party after the election of 2009 and it was their withdrawal of support for the government that brought it down, causing the early election of 2013, after which the LSAP formed a coalition with the Greens and the Democratic Party.

Christian Social People’s Party

In terms of the number of seats in the Chamber, the CSV has been Luxemburg’s biggest party ever since the War and only failed to join the government twice. As a member of the EPP, CSV members are christian democrats and strongly support the European Project. Jacques Santer (President of the European Commission 1995-1999) and Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission since 2014) are both members of the CSV.

Communist Party of Luxembourg

The communist party is of relatively small relevance in modern Luxembourg. The last time when the party had more than just two deputies in the Chamber was after the election of 1979 and it failed to secure any seat in three previous elections (2004, 2009, 2013). The KPL is one of the few Luxembourgish parties to hold a eurosceptic stance.

Democratic Party

The DP is one of the major parties of Luxembourg, with its former president, Xavier Bettel, being the current Prime Minister of the country. The party is a member of Alliance of Democrats and Liberals for Europe, and, consequently, strongly supports free market and free trade. It also recognises the importance of civil liberties – after taking over in 1974 it, for instance, legalised abortion and divorce, while abolishing the death penalty. The DP embraces internationalism.

Alternative Democratic Reform Party

Sometimes accused of being a populist party, the ADR is the conservative party of Luxembourg. It aims to defend “traditional family values” and highlights the importance of preserving Luxembourgish identity and language. As a member of Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe, the party that also includes Polish Law and Justice and British Conservatives, the ADR is soflty eurosceptic. What makes the ADR unique is its intention of reforming Luxembourg’s political system to resemble that of Switzerland.

The Left

The Left used to be an electoral alliance of two parties – the New Left and the KPL – and independents, but after some internal frictions it started to run separate lists without the communists, accusing them of losing their credibility. It secured one mandate in 2009 and two mandates in 2013, which suggests it might be the reason of the KPL’s further demise. The Left rejects the capitalist system, setting the creation of “a more egalitarian society” as one of its goals.

Results

As official sources report, the christian democrats secured 21 mandates, the liberal democrats – 12, the social democrats – 10, the greens – 9, the conservatives – 4, the left – 2, and, for the first time in history, the pirates – also 2.

This means that the coalition that has governed since 2013 and consisted of the liberal democrats, social democrats and greens has just enough seats (31) to form another government, the third in history not to include the CSV. It is, however, not certain such an alliance is to be forged as other configurations are also possible.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.