In Luxembourg, voting in elections is a right, but also an obligation for citizens. You will find all the necessary information here:
- the principle of voting in Luxembourg
- the different elections in which a citizen can vote or participate as a candidate
- how to register to vote
- how the different elections are held: municipal, legislative, European, trade union.
Voting in Luxembourg: a right, but also a duty
In Luxembourg, voting in elections is mandatory if you are registered on the electoral roll. In case of abstention, the penalties can range from 100 to 1,000 euros fine for the refractory citizen. Only a few cases can be excused. This is particularly true for voters over 75 years of age or those unable to vote for professional reasons.
Luxembourg citizens are called to vote from the age of 18 and are automatically registered on the electoral roll.
Voting by mail may be exceptionally authorized. however, voting by proxy is not allowed.
Elections in Luxembourg are based on a single round of voting, by secret ballot. At the end of the vote, if no party has obtained an absolute majority to form a government, the different parties meet to negotiate. They then form a coalition government or city council . A program will be jointly defined and the posts will be distributed among the different political parties.
The Luxembourg municipal elections
Who votes in municipal elections?
In order to vote in the COMMUNAL elections, the voter must:
- be at least 18 years old*,
- be registered on the list of electors at least 86 days before the election,
- enjoy civil rights and not be deprived of the right to vote in the State of residence or in the State of origin,
- be a Luxembourg citizen residing in the Grand Duchy
- for nationals of another member state of the European Union, to be domiciled and resident for at least 5 years in the Grand Duchy at the time of the application for registration on the electoral roll,
- for foreign nationals who are not citizens of a Member State of the European Union, to be domiciled in the Grand Duchy and to have resided there for at least 5 years at the time of the application for registration. In addition, they must be in regular residence for the entire period and have a visa to stay in the country if it is required.
Registration / removal from the electoral roll
The registration on the electoral roll must be done at the latest on the 87th day at 5 pm, before the date of the election.
This registration can be done via myguichet.lu or directly with your municipality with a valid identity document.
Voter registration is permanent. There is no need to renew it. If you move to another municipality, the registration on the electoral roll is automatically transferred.
If a voter wishes to be removed from the electoral roll, he or she must submit a written request to the College of Aldermen, enclosing a copy of his or her identity card.
Principle of communal elections
Municipal elections are held every 6 years. They aim at electing the representatives in each commune of Luxembourg: the mayor, his aldermen and the communal council. The next municipal elections will take place in 2023.
A non-Luxembourgish resident may stand for election to the local authority in his or her place of residence. He/she must have been residing in the said commune for at least 6 months and in Luxembourg for at least 5 years. the last year must be uninterrupted. Nominations must be made at least 60 days before the election.
Municipal Election Process
The invitation to the polling station is sent to the voters at least 8 days before the polling. The voter must present himself or herself on Election Day at the polling station indicated, with identification.
Elections are held on the basis of relative majority for municipalities with less than 3,000 inhabitants and on the basis of proportional representation for municipalities with more than 3,000 inhabitants.
Each elector has a number of votes equivalent to the number of seats to be filled on the Board of Aldermen. They can choose to vote for an entire list or to divide their votes among the different candidates. They may even choose to give 2 votes to either candidate, but not exceed their total number of votes.
The legislative elections in Luxembourg
Parliamentary elections are held every 5 years in Luxembourg. They allow the nomination of the 60 deputies who will constitute the Chamber of Deputies . The last parliamentary elections took place on Sunday, October 14, 2018 and brought the 256,698 Luxembourgers to elect their deputies. Following this vote, a governmentwas formed with a new PrimeMinister.
The next legislative elections will be held in 2023.
Who can vote in the legislative elections?
In order to vote in the legislative elections, the voter must:
- be of Luxembourg nationality,
- be at least eighteen years of age* on the day of the election,
- enjoy civil and political rights,
- be domiciled in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (those residing abroad may, however, vote by mail).
All Luxembourg voters registered on the electoral roll are called to vote in the legislative elections.
How to vote in the legislative elections?
For the elections of deputies, the country is divided into 4 constituencies: the Center represented by 21 deputies, the South 23 deputies, the North 9 deputies and the East 7 deputies.
Each elector has a maximum number of votes equivalent to the number of members of parliament in his or her constituency. He can distribute his votes according to several choices:
- vote for an entire list representing a single political party(see the list of the main political parties). In this case, simply tick the box above the list chosen on the ballot paper
- distribute votes by name among several candidates, even if they belong to different political parties. You will then have to check the box in front of the name of the chosen candidate. You can give an advantage to one or more candidates by giving them 2 votes maximum. You will have to check the 2 boxes in front of his name. Be careful not to exceed the total number of votes to which you are entitled: 23 for the southern region, 21 for the central region, 9 for the north and 7 for the east.
Notices of election are sent out at least 5 days in advance. The elector will go to the polling station indicated with his or her identification.
The European elections in Luxembourg
The European elections allow European citizens to vote for their representatives in the European Parliament for the next 5 years. The last election was held on May 26, 2019.
At the end of the vote, the DP has 2 seats, the CSV 2 seats, dei Greng 1 seat and the LSAP 1 seat. See our pages on politics in Luxembourg.
The next European elections will take place in 2024.
Registration on the European electoral lists
Since voting is compulsory in Luxembourg, Luxembourgers are automatically registered on the electoral roll.
Residents from another European country and of a nationality other than Luxembourg must register on the local electoral lists in order to vote for Luxembourg deputies. This registration is carried out with their commune of residence, or via MyGuichet.lu. This is normally done whenregistering as a resident in the municipality.
They can also register on the lists of their consulate to vote for the deputies of their country of origin. Please note that you cannot vote for both MEPs and MPs from your country of origin at the same time. They will have to choose for which representatives they will vote: from Luxembourg or from their country of origin.
To be able to vote in the European elections, the voter must :
- be at least 18 years old*,
- be of Luxembourg nationality or a citizen of another EU member state,
- be domiciled in Luxembourg,
- be registered on the list of electors at least 86 days before the election.
- for Luxembourgers, be domiciled in the Grand Duchy.
- for nationals of another EU member state, to be domiciled in the Grand Duchy and to have resided there at the time of the application for registration on the electoral roll provided for by law.
* Persons who will be 18 years of age on election day but are not yet 18 years of age at the time they apply for registration must present an authorization from their parent or guardian.
Info: Luxembourgers living abroad are allowed to vote in the European elections by postal vote.
Voting by mail
In Luxembourg, every voter registered on the electoral roll must vote in the various elections. If it is not possible to be represented, it is possible to vote by mail.
Absentee voting is available for voters:
- over 75 years of age,
- who are unable to travel for health reasons,
- who are unable to appear in person at the polling station for duly justified professional or personal reasons,
- who live in a municipality other than the one where they are called to vote.
The application for a postal vote must be sent to the College of the Mayor and Aldermen of the municipality, at the earliest 10 weeks and at the latest 30 days before the day of the elections.
Attention: do not forget to register at the Consulate of your country of origin in Luxembourg to be able to continue to participate in some of your elections in your country of origin.
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