The leader of Luxembourg’s Christian Social People’s Party Luc Frieden, winner of weekend polls, has been invited to form a government, the Grand Duke said on Monday. As they did at the last elections in 2018, the CSV came out on top with 29 percent of the vote, up 0.9 percent in the tiny and wealthy EU member, according to the full results published on Sunday.
But this time the three-party coalition of Liberals, Socialists and Greens, led since 2013 by 50-year-old Bettel, will not be able to stand in their way. Although the Liberals did see their vote share rise to 18.7 percent, support for the Greens fell by almost seven points to 8.5 percent.
Outgoing Prime Minister, Liberal Xavier Bettel, tendered the resignation of his government the day after the elections in which his party came third. He will stay on as a caretaker until a new government is formed.
On Monday, Grand Duke Henri thrashed out the results of the vote with party leaders and decided the next steps. He announced that he had “invited Luc Frieden to an audience in order to appoint him as the leader of the new government”.
The 60-year-old former finance minister now has a strong chance of succeeding Bettel. The Christian Socialists garnered 21 seats in Sunday’s elections, the same number as in 2018, in the 60-seat Chamber of Deputies.
Frieden announced later that his party had decided to enter into exclusive negotiations with Bettel’s Liberals with a view to forming a coalition. For his part, Bettel announced that he was ready to join a new government, even if he is no longer prime minister.
However, the negotiations are expected to last several weeks, as the prospective coalition partners will have to agree on a programme that will serve as their governing manifesto for the next five years.
“The appointment of (a government) ‘formateur’ is totally independent of the appointment of the prime minister, but it is the most common practice for the ‘formateur’ to become head of government”, Luc Heuschling, professor of constitutional law at the University of Luxembourg, told AFP.__Daily Times