As legislative elections in Luxembourg quickly approach, notable figures are emerging in this competition. This article introduces prominent candidates from various political parties:
At 55 years old, Paulette Lenert stands as a beacon of innovation and renewal within the Socialist Party. She is the first woman to be appointed as the national leader of the Socialist Party, heralding hope for the party's resurgence to prominence in future government formations. Lenert's rapid and remarkable ascent in the political arena is nothing short of extraordinary.
A Trailblazing Political Career:
Despite not contesting in the 2018 parliamentary elections, Paulette Lenert was swiftly appointed as the Minister of Solidarity, Humanitarian Aid, and Consumer Protection in the aftermath. With a wealth of legal expertise, Lenert is intimately familiar with the inner workings of ministries. Previously serving as the Deputy Chief of the Administrative Court and the inaugural State Advisor for Socio-Economic Affairs (from 2010 to 2013), and later in the Ministry of Civil Service, which evolved into General Regulation from 2014 onwards, she has held significant responsibilities.
A Turning Point in February 2020:
In February 2020, Lenert's trajectory took a pivotal turn. Following the resignation of Etienne Schneider, she was appointed as the Minister of Health and found herself under immense pressure throughout the entire COVID-19 crisis. Despite a brief hiatus related to a health incident, Lenert's star rose, transforming her into a beloved figure in electoral circles from the summer of 2020. In January 2022, she was appointed as the First Deputy Prime Minister, and in April, she declared her readiness to don the mantle of Prime Minister.
Paulette Lenert's journey exemplifies the potential for dynamic leadership and the ability to rise to the occasion in the face of challenges. Her dedication to public service, coupled with her wealth of experience, positions her as a promising figure in the Socialist Party's bid for political revitalization. As the first female national leader, Lenert embodies the hope and aspirations of those who believe in the party's capacity to shape Luxembourg's political landscape in the years to come.
Xavier Bettel, the current Prime Minister of Luxembourg, has naturally earned the trust of the people. Over the course of his ten-year tenure as the head of state (from 2013 to 2023), he has demonstrated the capabilities and charisma needed to navigate Luxembourg through complex challenges, both domestically (such as COVID-19, the conflict in Ukraine, and inflation) and within Europe. At 50 years old, despite facing challenges related to allegations of plagiarism in his university thesis at the University of Nancy, Xavier Bettel continues to enjoy considerable popularity. A September early polls showed that among candidates from the four major parties in Luxembourg, he is the preferred choice for the position of Prime Minister.
A Charismatic Leader:
Known for his wit and eloquence, Xavier Bettel's appeal lies not only in his political acumen but also in his engaging personality. His long-standing political experience, which began when he became the young leader of the Democrats at the age of 21, along with his electoral successes (being elected as a parliamentarian at 26 and Mayor of Luxembourg City at 38), undeniably set him apart as a unique candidate.
Facing a Crucial Challenge:
However, in this election, Xavier Bettel confronts a significant condition. He understands from his own experience that wielding power can potentially lead to weariness and disillusionment among the public. Currently vying for office in the central region of the country alongside Yuriko Backes, a young tax minister, as the DP's candidate, Bettel is well aware that in this part of the country, the Democratic Party's influence still reigns supreme. This was reaffirmed in early June during the municipal elections, where he emerged victorious as the former Mayor of Luxembourg City.
Xavier Bettel's enduring popularity and political prowess reflect his ability to resonate with the Luxembourgish electorate. As a seasoned leader, he stands as a beacon of hope for the Democratic Party and a potential continuance of his legacy in steering Luxembourg through the challenges of the future.
Sam Tanson, the current Minister of Culture and Justice in Luxembourg, has been appointed as the national leader of the Green Party. This selection is a clear indication of trust and a personal challenge for her. Up until now, the Greens have operated with a co-chair system. Her long-time collaborator in the 2018 parliamentary elections, and particularly her political mentor, François Bausch, the Minister of Mobility, has announced that he will not seek another ministerial position, but will support Tanson in this new endeavor. Recent polls from "Sondage" suggest that the Green Party is currently facing a popularity plateau, unable to gain significant traction.
A Fearless Advocate for the Environment:
At 43 years old, Sam Tanson represents the second generation of environmental advocates fearlessly stepping into politics. Her involvement in active politics spans a considerable period, notably the Green Party's participation in the coalition government (marking their first presence since 2013). Tanson is a woman unafraid of challenges and concerns, demonstrating a clear commitment to environmental causes.
A Diverse Political Background:
With a rich and diverse political history, Sam Tanson's journey has included roles as a journalist at RTL media, a lawyer, and advocating for the youth wing of the Green Party (Jonk Gréng) at the age of 28. She gained significant popularity when she became the first Deputy Mayor of Luxembourg City in 2013, serving alongside Lydie Polfer (of the Democratic Party). On June 7, 2015, she was appointed as the Deputy to Agnès Rauchs in one of the government council positions. However, she resigned from this position to replace her party colleague Claude Adam in the Chamber of Deputies. She was re-elected as a deputy in the federal elections of October 2018. Nonetheless, she resigned from her seat to commence her role as the Minister of Housing and Minister of Culture in the second Bettel-Schneider government (a term coined for the duo Xavier Bettel and his deputy Étienne Schneider who took over the government in the previous elections).
Appointment as Minister of Justice:
On September 6, 2019, Tanson assumed the role of interim Minister of Justice, filling in for the seriously ill Félix Braz. Finally, on September 25, 2019, she was officially appointed as the Minister of Justice.
Sam Tanson's steadfast commitment to environmental causes and her extensive political experience make her a formidable leader for the Green Party. Her appointment as the national leader marks a pivotal moment for the party, and her fearless advocacy for the environment promises to bring a fresh perspective to Luxembourg's political landscape.
Luc Frieden, following a successful consolidation of party members in early February, has been introduced as the head of the electoral list for the Christian Social People's Party (CSV). After being ousted from power in 2013 by the three-party coalition of DP-LSAP-déi gréng, the CSV has been on the lookout for a new champion akin to Jean-Claude Juncker, who held the position of Prime Minister for over 18 years. For Luc Frieden, the former Minister of Justice, Budget, and Defense, this return to politics marks a significant milestone. Having stepped away from his political career for approximately a decade and having abstained from running in the 2018 parliamentary elections, Frieden undoubtedly stands as the most experienced candidate in the party's competition.
A Wealth of Experience:
At 60 years old, this seasoned lawyer boasts an impressive track record. Having held leadership positions in several major economic institutions, including BIL Bank, Deutsche Bank, Chamber of Commerce, Saint-Paul Publishing, and Wort Publishing, Frieden is no stranger to the forefront of political and economic affairs. His mission is unequivocal: to restore the Christian Social People's Party to government. Although the party currently holds the highest number of seats with 21 representatives in parliament, it has spent the past decade in opposition, defined as parties not in government and opposed to the ruling party or parties.
A Vision for Renewal:
In a bid to rejuvenate the party, Luc Frieden aligns himself with the youthful energy of his party colleague, 33-year-old Elisabeth Margue. This dynamic duo aims to project a fresh image while preserving Frieden's political legacy, which has evolved over the years, seamlessly transitioning from the era of Jean-Claude Juncker.
With Luc Frieden's reentry into the political arena, the Christian Social People's Party aspires to reclaim its role as a leading force in Luxembourg's political landscape. As the upcoming elections loom, Frieden and Margot's collaboration promises a blend of experience and youthful vigor, offering voters a compelling choice for the future of Luxembourg.
Fred Keup, at 43 years old, has been appointed as the head of the national list for the Reformists and Alternative Democrats Party (ADR) starting from March. This selection comes precisely one year after his election as the party's leader. While it may seem that Keup has swiftly ascended the political ladder, the reality is quite different. In the 2018 parliamentary elections, he did not secure a seat (although he garnered over 8,800 votes). It was only in October 2020, following the resignation of Gast Gibéryen, that Keup entered the parliament. His foray into the public political arena began in 2015, a year highlighted by his presentation of a case opposing the widespread opposition to granting non-citizens the right to vote in parliamentary elections (78% against), a stance that some view as radical, perceiving both him and the ADR as staunchly opposed to migrant participation in elections.
Keup established the platform "Nee2015.lu," a movement that vehemently opposed migrant participation in elections. His recent initiative, known as "Wee2050," allows him to collaborate with the ADR, leading to his presence in the party's list in the recent national elections in Luxembourg.
The Grand Mission:
Fred Keup is on a significant mission: to secure five seats in the parliament for his party and present a fresh and appealing perspective in politics that can resonate with the youth and bolster their trust in the party.
Fred Keup's appointment as the head of the national list for the ADR marks a pivotal moment for the party, signaling a potential resurgence. As he embarks on this ambitious mission, Keup envisions a future where the ADR's voice gains strength and credibility, especially among the younger generation, ultimately shaping the political landscape of Luxembourg.
Sven Clement, a 34-year-old, is at the helm of the Pirate Party (a political party with a focus on civil rights, direct democracy, open access to information, patent reform, free knowledge sharing, information privacy, transparency, free flow of information, and network neutrality). He became a fundamental member of the party in late 2009 and eventually ascended to the honorary position of party leader. Possessing technical knowledge, information, and professional experience in digital communication consultancy, Clement has gained significant recognition and popularity over the past five years in parliament. He represents a new generation of politicians who utilize social networks and are in the public eye, advocating for greater transparency and a more just world for all.
Achievements and Advocacy:
Clement, initially involved in the "Medicoleak" case (revealing security vulnerabilities in the digital space for accessing medical data of athletes), has garnered immense popularity among voters, ranking him as their sixth-favorite politician in July. He was the sole parliamentarian to bring up the controversial issue of designating Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization in the parliament.
Challenges and Ambitions:
Clement's challenge lies in transforming the Pirate Party into a fully-fledged political force within the parliament. Recent polling by "Sonndesfro" allocates five seats to the Pirate Party, hinting at the potential for two additional seats. In June, the party made notable progress in municipal elections in cities like Petange, Esch, and Differdange. Five years ago, in October 2018, the young Pirate Party made its mark by securing two representatives in the parliament, capturing the attention of the public.
Frank Engel, at 48 years old, is the spokesperson for the Fokus Party, a pragmatic and ideologically flexible party situated in the center of the political spectrum. He was chosen as the leader of the youth wing of the party, co-founded in February 2022 alongside Marc Ruppert (former Secretary-General of the Democratic Party), Gary Kneip, and Luc Majerus. Fokus achieved significant success in the October 8 elections, presenting a full slate in four constituencies. A law graduate, Frank Engel aims to transform the political landscape in Luxembourg through this "efficient" and "ideologically flexible" party. He seeks to reinvigorate his once-thriving political career, which was abruptly interrupted.
Frank Engel served as the Secretary-General of the Christian Social People's Party (CSV) in parliament for eight years. Subsequently, he became a Member of the European Parliament from 2009 to 2019 and eventually was appointed as the head of the CSV party in 2019. However, he stepped down from this position in March 2022 due to allegations in the "Circle of Friends" case. He faced embezzlement charges related to public funds, but the court declared him innocent.
Frank Engel's explicit goal is to secure at least one seat in the Bria Parliament for his party. With a focus on pragmatism and a flexible ideology, Engel seeks to steer Luxembourg's political landscape towards a more dynamic and adaptable future.
Ali Ruckert, the leader of the Communist Workers' Party of Luxembourg (KPL), who joined the party in 1971, is now vying for a parliamentary seat on behalf of the KPL. At 69 years old, Ruckert brings a wealth of experience compared to other party leader contenders. With his steely resolve, he has not wavered in his commitment to championing workers' interests and their purchasing power. Since 2000, he has been actively engaged as the party's leader and also serves as the editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Zeitung vum Lëtzebuerger Vollek." Until June, he was a member of the Differdange City Council, although he was not re-elected. Since 1984, Ali Ruckert has tirelessly endeavored to restore a Communist representative to the Parliament, a mission that has yet to yield results. In the early 1970s, six Communist representatives were present in the Parliament. KPL presents candidate lists in the southern, central, and eastern regions.
Championing Workers' Interests:
Throughout the years, Ali Ruckert has remained resolute in his dedication to the cause of workers' rights. His unwavering commitment to empowering the labor force and safeguarding their economic interests remains a cornerstone of his political agenda.
Long-standing Commitment to the Communist Cause:
With a tenure spanning over four decades within the KPL, Ali Ruckert's enduring commitment to the Communist cause is evident. His steadfast advocacy for Communist representation in the Parliament reflects a deeply ingrained dedication to his political ideals.
Challenges and Prospects:
As Ali Ruckert seeks to secure a parliamentary seat, he faces the challenge of revitalizing Communist influence within Luxembourg's political landscape. With a history steeped in Communist activism, Ruckert's candidacy embodies the hopes of KPL supporters for a resurgence in parliamentary representation.
Ali Ruckert's bid for a parliamentary seat marks a significant moment for the KPL. With a lifetime of dedication to the Communist cause, he stands as a symbol of resilience and commitment in Luxembourg's political arena. His candidacy represents not only a personal endeavor but also the aspirations of those who believe in the enduring relevance of Communist ideals in today's political discourse.
Joe Thein, a 32-year-old political figure, currently leads the "Déi Konservativ d'Fräiheetspartei" (The Conservative of the Party of Freedom), a party founded in March 2017. Recognized for its emphasis on national values and conservatism, this party did not secure representation in the city council elections in June. It had presented lists in the cities of Diekirch and Petange. The Conservative Party participated in parliamentary elections for the first time in 2018. At that time, the party fielded only one list in the south and garnered 0.52% of the votes. However, this time around, "Déi Konservativ" has introduced two lists, one for the south and one for the north.
Joe Thein joined the ADR party at the age of 16, actively serving as a deputy representative in the south and later appointed as an advisor to the Petange City Council at the age of 20. In 2013, he was among the top four ADR representatives in the south, but faced expulsion from the party due to various infractions. One of these infractions involved "liking" a comment by a user in the online space, suggesting to Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn of LSAP to "take a joyride in a convertible in Dallas."
The Conservative Party, under Joe Thein's leadership, stands as a proponent of national values and conservative principles. While it faced a setback in previous elections, the party's renewed approach with dual lists reflects a strategic shift in their electoral strategy.
Joe Thein's journey from a young member of the ADR party to becoming the leader of the Conservative Party showcases his resilience and commitment to political ideals. With a focus on national values, Thein and his party are poised to play a significant role in shaping Luxembourg's political landscape. As the political landscape continues to evolve, Joe Thein and the Conservative Party will undoubtedly remain key players in the nation's political discourse.
Roy Reding, at 58 years old, is contesting in the parliamentary elections as a candidate from the Liberté-Fräiheet party, which stands as the youngest participant in these elections. The party Liberté-Fräiheet was established in July 2023 and has since been represented in the parliament by a single delegate. Roy Reding, previously elected as a representative for the ADR party, has parted ways due to what he cited as a "clear lack of trust" in his former party. After ten years of serving as the sole ADR representative in the parliament, the party decided not to endorse him as their leading candidate in the central district for the upcoming parliamentary elections. This seasoned lawyer abruptly left his party, attempting to join the 'Fokus' party, but without success. He swiftly departed from 'Fokus' and ultimately joined the Liberté-Fräiheet party. However, Liberté-Fräiheet has managed to swiftly assemble an exceptional list of candidates in each electoral district.
Reding's move to the Liberté-Fräiheet party marks a significant shift in his political trajectory. His decision to align with a newer party reflects a desire for fresh perspectives and a commitment to principles that resonate more closely with his beliefs.
Liberté-Fräiheet's Rapid Ascent:
Liberté-Fräiheet's ability to swiftly assemble a robust list of candidates in every electoral district showcases the party's organizational prowess and its appeal to individuals seeking alternative political options.
Roy Reding's decision to join the Liberté-Fräiheet party underscores his pursuit of a political platform that aligns more closely with his convictions. As the parliamentary elections approach, Reding's candidacy with Liberté-Fräiheet adds a dynamic element to the political landscape, reflecting the evolving preferences of Luxembourg's electorate. The emergence of Liberté-Fräiheet as a formidable contender in these elections underscores the vitality of diverse political choices in shaping the nation's future.
In the aftermath of the legislative elections in Luxembourg, two parties, namely "Déi Lénk" and "Volt," have emerged with innovative strategies for electoral competition. Both parties, instead of emphasizing national-level candidates, have opted for a regional proximity strategy. They have introduced multiple candidates in various electoral districts, and in some cases, none at all.
Déi Lénk: The Left
Déi Lénk, currently holds two seats in the parliament. In these elections, the party adopts a regional proximity strategy. Déi Lénk presents a list for each of the Luxembourg electoral districts. These lists consist of four candidates for the South, two for the Central, and two for the East. With this approach, Déi Lénk endeavors to play a more significant role in shaping the country's political landscape.
Volt is a young, pan-European movement founded in Luxembourg in 2018. In the current elections, the party is only present in the South and East regions of the country, with no candidates. With this approach, Volt focuses on regional proximity and addressing local issues and challenges.
Déi Lénk and Volt's innovative strategies in the Luxembourg elections represent a new form of political activism in the country. These two parties, with their unique blends of regional focus and emphasis on local issues, aim to play an influential role in Luxembourg's political arena. Over time, these approaches may play a significant role in the political transformations and developments of the country.