Communal elections

LSAP aims to remain 'most important' party at communal level

Yves Cruchten (left) and Claude Haagen.
Yves Cruchten (left) and Claude Haagen.
Photo: Guy Jallay

The Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP) is heading into the communal elections focusing on three main issues – housing, mobility and childcare.

The Christian Social People's Party (CSV) and the Democratic Party (DP) have similar themes at the core of their campaigns.

But the left-of-centre LSAP is also setting out onto the campaign trail with another objective.

"We want to repeat our strong results from 2011 and continue to be the most important party at the municipal level," said Yves Cruchten, the Secretary General of the LSAP, at a press conference on Tuesday.

Cruchten described Luxembourg's communal elections as a "formidable rendezvous with democracy", and the thousands of people registered on the voting lists as a testimony to the health of the country's democracy. 

The LSAP heads into the elections with 616 candidates standing for office in Luxembourg's 105 communes, some of which use a 'majority' system, while others employ a proportional system. 

The type of system depends on the size of the commune. Municipalities with fewer than 3,000 inhabitants have a majority system, where the candidates stand individually, and political parties play a secondary role. 

Three hundred and seventeen new candidates will be present on the LSAP lists, which, according to leaders, is a clear sign of the generational renewal taking place within the party. 

Photo: Guy Jallay

Five hundred and fifty-nine candidates will be on the LSAP lists in the communes working with a proportional system, more than ever before for the party.

More than 39% of those candidates are women, according to Cruchten, compared with 32% in 2011. 

Twenty-one per cent of the candidates running for the LSAP are part of the Jonk Sozialiste (young socialists) group, which represents a 3% increase from 2011.

Eleven per cent of the candidates on the list are foreigners, representing 15 nationalities.

In 41 communes, the LSAP is running for office under the name LSAP d'Sozialisten.

In Bissen, Lorentzweiler and Kopstal, the LSAP lists are called "Aer Leit" (your people) or "Aer Equipe" (your team). 

Hard to top

Cruchten conceded that the LSAP, introducing so many new faces, might find it difficult to improve on the "formidable" results of the 2011 elections. 

Party leaders took pains to emphasise they would not see the communal election results as a barometer for next year's legislative elections, arguing that the two had to be considered separately due to the very separate nature of the politics involved.

A question was put to the LSAP on the apparent merging of communal and legislative electoral issues, as other parties, which had not linked the elections before this year, have been keen to do so now.

Responding, the LSAP took aim at the CSV, which, since the 2013 election, has been part of the opposition for the first time since 1974.

"I hope the CSV wants to have well-run communes and that the aim is not to play a national game," Cruchten said.

"I hope they are talking to their citizens at the local level, about the communal problems people might have."

The secretary general also added he hoped the aim was not to "inflict a defeat" on the parties now in government.

(Barbara Tasch, barbara.tasch@wort.lu, +352 49 93 732) 

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