Xavier Bettel's progressive coalition disintegrates after the elections in Luxembourg | International
The progressive coalition government that Prime Minister Xavier Bettel led for the last decade has disintegrated after this Sunday's elections in Luxembourg. Although both Bettel's liberal party DP and the social democratic LSAP managed to improve their results compared to 2018, the debacle of the minority partner, the Greens, who lost five deputies, has prevented the coalition from being able to regain the 31 seats it had won. required to be able to form a government again, as its main officials have recognized.
The results make it likely that the conservatives of the CSV, the party with the most votes and which has won 21 seats, will once again lead a government that they held for decades, but from which they had been away since 2013, as long as they find a partner available to form the necessary majority. The most likely formulas, according to analysts, are either an alliance with the DP, which has achieved 14 seats (two more than in 2018), or with LSAP, which rises one seat to add 11.
“The blue-red-green coalition no longer exists,” proclaimed the CSV leader and presumably new prime minister, Luc Frieden, upon learning of the first complete national results, which he claimed give him a “clear mandate to form a government,” although without enough seats to govern alone. “The CSV wants to hold respectful discussions” to form a coalition, Frieden added, according to Luxembourg media.
Shortly before, the outgoing prime minister had recognized that the results were not enough to repeat the coalition Gambiaso called because the colors of the parties that formed it resemble the flag of the African country. “I have worked well with the LSAP and the Greens, but we are in a democracy and we must respect it, from a mathematical point of view, it is not possible” to renew the coalition, acknowledged Bettel on the 100.7 station. At the same time, he showed his willingness to negotiate with the conservatives. “The DP is willing to assume its responsibility in a next government,” he declared.
Social Democrat Paulette Lenert also assured that her party is “ready to discuss” a new coalition with the conservatives.
Although insufficient to have the capacity to enter a coalition government, one of the surprises of the Luxembourg election day has been the advance of the right-wing populists: the ADR party wins five seats, which will allow it to form its own group. On the contrary, the Greens, who until now had nine seats, are left with four deputies and leave the outgoing coalition two seats away from renewing the absolute majority.
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In total, just over 283,000 Luxembourgers were called to the polls this Sunday to renew the 60 seats in their Parliament. To form a government, at least 31 seats are needed, something that Bettel had achieved in the last decade by forming an alliance with social democrats and environmentalists, but the electoral debacle of the latter left them two seats away from a third renewal of this formula.
Only 52% of the more than 660,000 inhabitants of Luxembourg hold Luxembourg nationality and can, therefore, vote if they are old enough to do so, in which case it is mandatory. In 2015, 78% of Luxembourgers rejected in a referendum granting the right to vote to foreign residents who do not have the nationality of the country, the second smallest in the EU (after Malta) but with the highest per capita income among its European partners.
The projections already indicated the great possibility that Bettel would have to leave the head of Government after a decade at the head of the small country. But most polls were betting on a mere change of seats among the senior partners of the progressive coalition in which the leader of LSAP, Paulette Lenert, current Minister of Health and who achieved great visibility during the pandemic, would take the lead. of a new coalition formation, becoming the first female head of Government of Luxembourg. The fall of the environmentalists has frustrated her aspirations.
Before the official results were known, the European People's Party (EPP), to which the CSV is affiliated, was already celebrating Frieden's victory on social networks, where it stated that the Luxembourg conservative party will work to "strengthen the economy, prioritize security and advance green initiatives to improve the lives of citizens.”
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