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Capital's mayor running for top job in 2023 local elections
Luxembourg City

Capital's mayor running for top job in 2023 local elections

by Heledd PRITCHARD 2 min. 14.12.2022
Mayor Lydie Polfer will be on the Democratic Party's list in the hope of another term as mayor of the capital
Luxembourg City Mayor, Lydie Polfer
Luxembourg City Mayor, Lydie Polfer
Photo credit: Chris Karaba

Luxembourg City’s mayor Lydie Polfer is standing in next year’s communal election in the hope of a third consecutive term as the capital’s mayor.

Luxembourg holds communal elections – also known as local elections – every six years to appoint mayors and councillors, who decide on local budgets and infrastructure projects.

For the first time next year all foreigners living in the country will be able to vote and stand in the election, taking place on 11 June, after a new law scrapped the need for non-Luxembourgers to have lived in the Grand Duchy for five years.

Polfer, who has been the mayor of Luxembourg City since Bettel left the position to become prime minister in 2013, will stand for next year’s ballot, she said on RTL radio on Tuesday. Polfer previously held the role between 1982 and 1999 and has also been a member of the European Parliament and minister of foreign affairs.

Alderman Patrick Goldschmidt and Family Affairs Minister Corinne Cahen will also be on the Democratic Party’s (DP) electoral list. Cahen, who survived demands for her resignation last year following a report on how the Covid-19 pandemic was handled in care homes, has repeatedly expressed interest in local politics and would have to give up her position as minister if she were to be elected as mayor.

Polfer, who is also a member of parliament, would be able to continue in both roles if she is re-elected.

Family Minister Corinne Cahen
Family Minister Corinne Cahen
Photo: Archive-LW

The candidate who gains the highest number of votes is put forward to be elected mayor by the municipal council for approval. The Grand Duke then formally appoints the mayor. In the last local election in 2017, Polfer gained the most votes in Luxembourg City, with more than 12,600 votes.

Non-Luxembourgers account for around half of the Grand Duchy's population and around 70% of residents in the capital. At the last local elections in 2017, less than a quarter of resident foreigners signed up to vote while 15 people without a Luxembourg passport were elected to local communes, a study by the Centre for Intercultural and Social Studies showed.

Each party must present its electoral list at least 60 days before the elections take place. The City’s Chief Alderman and member of parliament, Serge Wilmes of the Christian Democrats (CSV), also has his eye on becoming mayor and will be on his party’s electoral list.

The communal elections will be held just four months before the country's general elections, scheduled for 8 October 2023. 

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