It is one of the most important exercises and the base of the legitimacy of a democracy: this 14 October, 256.698 voters are summoned to vote a new parliament. Depending on the results of the election, a new government will be formed, which will govern the country for the next 5 years.
What are we voting for?
The results of the parliamentary elections will define the composition of the 'Chambre des députés', the Luxembourgish parliament. Voting is by direct universal suffrage, which means that every Luxembourgish citizen votes directly for his or her candidates. In total, 60 seats are to be distributed.
How does the electoral system work?
Every voter has a certain number of voteshe or she can give, depending on the constituency in which they participate:
- Constituency centre: 21
- Constituency south: 23
- Constituency north: 9
- Constituency east: 7
The voter can either give all their votes to the list of one political party by blackening the circle above the list, or intermix, which means chose different candidates from various lists. In that case, the voter can either give one or two votes to each chosen candidate, until the maximal number of votes according to their constituency are spent.
Elections are held using a system of proportional representation. For each of the four constituencies, the political groups must draw up lists of candidates. Their number may not exceed the number of MPs to be elected in that constituency.
10 political parties participate in the 2018 parliamentary elections. In total, 547 candidates are running for election, of which 46% are women and 54% are men.
Who can vote?
To qualify as a voter in the legislative elections, one must:
- be of Luxembourgish nationality;
- be at least 18 years of age on the day of the election;
- possess civil and political rights;
- be domiciled in Luxembourg. Luxembourgish citizens residing abroad may vote by postal ballot.
In 2018, 256.698 citizens comply to the conditions to be voters, of which 40.441 (15,8%) have decided to vote by postal ballot. One has to mention, that in Luxembourg everyone who is inscribed on a list to run for election is obliged to vote.
Luxembourg City has the highest number of voters (28.736 people), whilst Saeul, a rural commune west of the capital, only counts 477 voters.
How is the future government formed?
Although the Constitution allows the Grand Duke great freedom to choose his ministers, according to custom, the Grand Duke only chooses the Prime Minister, either after appointing an 'informateur', or after having directly appointed a 'formateur' who will take care to put together a government that will win the support of the parliamentary majority.
If none of the political parties represented in the Chamber has an absolute majority, a coalition government is formed. The political parties called upon to be represented in government agree, during negotiations that can be laborious, on a common government programme and on the distribution of ministerial departments. A coalition agreement is then signed by the government 'formateur' (the future Prime Minister) and the presidents of the political formations that are part of the new government.
(Article written by the editorial team of the luxembourg.lu portal / Source: Gouvernement.lu)