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Count begins after polling stations close
Luxembourg

Count begins after polling stations close

07.06.2015 From our online archive
Some 3,500 election officials started counting ballot papers for the 2015 referendum after polling stations closed at 2pm across the country.

(CS) Some 3,500 election officials started counting ballot papers for the 2015 referendum after polling stations closed at 2pm across the country.

Around 245,000 Luxembourg nationals were registed to vote in January this year.

They will decide whether foreign national will be given the right to vote, provided they have lived in the Grand Duchy for 10 years or more and have previously voted in a local or European election while resident in the country. It would not be mandatory for foreigners to vote, but they would have the possibility to register to vote. Once registered, they would then have to attend.

For Luxembourg nationals eligible to take part in elections, voting is compulsory.

Also up for a vote is the question whether teenagers aged 16 and 17 should be given the right to vote if they wish. Finally, voters will cast their ballots on whether there should be a limit of 10 years, consecutively, to being a minister in the cabinet.

Opinion polls in the run-up to the referendum showed a 'no' vote on all three questions, with the question on foreigner voting rights the most hotly debated of the lot. According to surveys carried out earlier this year, it also looks to be the question with the most narrow outcome.

The government and the majority parties in parliament – the DP, LSAP and déi Gréng – campaigned in favour of a 'yes' vote on all three questions. Largest opposition party – the CSV – campaigned for 'no' on all three questions, as did the ADR. The third opposition party in parliament – déi Lénk – also campaigned for a triple 'yes'. 

While the referendum is only consultative, and thus not legally binding, the government has pledged to respect the result. The outcome of the referendum is set to be reflected in a wider reform of the Luxembourg constitution, planned for 2018.

The die has now been cast, with results expected to start arriving from around 3pm.