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LSAP: The reasons behind the defeat

LSAP: The reasons behind the defeat

by Nicolas Anen, Luxemburger Wort 3 min. 03.12.2017 From our online archive
Personnel changes are planned for the second half of the mandate period
The Esch division of the LSAP – here Lydia Mutsch, Taina Bofferding and Vera Spautz – wants to become more present among the public (Lex Kleren)

"A lot of people had a problem with us and did not want to give us their trust anymore." This is how the president of the Luxembourg Socialist People's Part's (LSAP) Esch/Alzette fraction, Fritz Remackel, summarised the results of the communal elections.

The other parties won the elections less, than the LSAP lost them, he opined. According to internal calculations, compared to 2011, around 1,500 voters turned their backs on the LSAP in 2017. 

Remackel gave many reasons for that dramatic decrease, among others that the team has stayed almost exactly the same since 2000.

Intra-party fighting

The internal fighting also yielded its consequences, and culminated when the former alderman Dan Codello left the party shortly after the elections. 
Remackel and the former mayor Vera Spautz both see the internal LSAP vote in 2013 as the origin for the fight. 

Back then, Spautz's alderman seat needed to be filled after she became mayor as Lydia Mutsch joined the government as health minister. 
Codello pushed through even though Taina Bofferding had achieved a better election results and was, according to Spautz the natural replacement. 

"That happened in our party. It was not the CSV that put him there," Spautz said on Saturday in relation to Codello.

... and in the communal council

The fight in the communal council escalted to the point where a number of decision were not taken together anymore but had to be made in the offices of other LSAP aldermen Jean Tonnar or Henri Hinterscheid, Spautz continued

During the election campaign, false reports also came out, for example that a refugee home would be built in Wobrécken instead of a school, Spautz deplored. 

Taina Bofferding (Lex Kleren)
Taina Bofferding (Lex Kleren)

Another reason for the bad result was also that LSAP felt too secure, and that they thought no one could take them on in Esch/Alzette, according to Remackel.

"We slept through the demographic change,"  Hinterscheid added, as Esch became a younger city, they did not sufficiently address this new population group.

Communal council member Mike Hansen said that since the defeat, a new dynamic was felt in the party, and that it was now time to promote it, to win again in 2023.

"If it even takes that long," Hinterscheid commented as he doubted that  cohesion reigned inside the three-party coalition in Esch/Alzette.

Changes in three years

The return of the LSAP to power is to succeed thanks to a ten-point-plan which was presented by Bofferding. Some of the points of the plan are the creation of a new "committee", better public relations and teambuilding. A first invitation to the Christmas market followed immediately.

But this plan also foresees a renewal in the communal council. In three years Spautz will give up her job as a spokeswoman. It was not officially stated, but it can be assumed that this role is intended for Bofferding.

In the second half of the mandate period, there will be a rotation principle to change the LSAP council members, so that new faces can move up. However, no names were mentioned.

During the discussion, two people argued that the spokeswoman's position should change immediately. In this context though, Hansen and Nando Pasqualoni argued that a renewal would not be done alone by new staffing. Thus, the ten-point plan was adopted with only one abstention.

Translated from German by Barbara Tasch