With the new government of Luxembourg sworn in, the remaining deputies (MPs) could take their seats last week and the Chamber of Deputies (Luxembourg's parliament) is once again complete.
Every five years, Luxembourg nationals head to the polls to elect the 60 deputies composing the Chamber of Deputies (unicameral parliamentary system). Following the legislative elections of 8 October 2023, 60 MPs were elected but only 46 were sworn in on 24 October 2023. The remaining fourteen elected representatives formed part of the outgoing government (DP-LSAP-Greens coalition) and so could not (yet) take their seats.
Moreover, some of those originally sworn-in MPs would later give up their seats to assume ministerial roles - whilst dual mandates allow politicians to serve as both local representatives (mayor or alderperson) and MPs, the role of government minister is incompatible with that of MP, municipal councillor, magistrate, member of the Council of State and member of the Court of Auditors.
After several weeks of negotiations between the Christian Social People's Party (CSV) and the Democratic Party (DP) and the subsequent signing of the coalition agreement, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg swore in the new government on 17 November 2023. This has had a knock-on effect on the composition of the Chamber of Deputies.
Seven of the previously sworn-in CSV MPs are now members of the government: Luc Frieden, Prime Minister; Gilles Roth, Minister of Finance and former Mayor of Mamer; Léon Gloden, Minister for Home Affairs and former Mayor of Grevenmacher; Martine Hansen, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Viticulture; Elisabeth Margue, Minister of Justice (in addition to responsibilities relating to media and communications, parliament relations, etc.); Georges Mischo, Minister of Labour and of Sport and former Mayor of Esch-sur-Alzette; Serge Wilmes, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Biodiversity and for the Civil Service and former First Alderman of the City of Luxembourg. The remaining CSV member of government is newcomer Martine Deprez, a mathematics teacher who served on the Council of State and now serves as Minister of Health and of Social Security, despite not having run in the elections. Note that voters directly elect MPs but not members of the government, who are officially appointed and sworn in by the Grand Duke; occasionally, the Prime Minister will put forward an "outsider" for the role of government minister.
With several (now former) MPs going on to form part of the new government, those politicians who were "next in line" (in terms of votes) have since filled the vacant seats. For the CSV, these include Luxembourg City Alderman Maurice Bauer, agricultural engineer and farmer Jeff Boonen, Christian-Social Youth (CSJ) President Alex Donnersbach, Dudelange municipal councillor Françoise Kemp, Sanem Alderwoman Nathalie Morgenthaler, City of Luxembourg councillor Laurent Mosar and Rosport-Mompach Mayor Stéphanie Weydert.
They have joined the following CSV MPs who were sworn in at the end of October: Diane Adehm, Nancy Kemp-Arendt, Emile Eicher, Félix Eischen, Paul Galles, Christophe Hansen (who has been replaced as MEP by Martine Kemp), Max Hengel, Marc Lies, Octavie Modert, Marc Spautz, Charel Weiler, Claude Wiseler (who has stepped down as CSV co-president following his election as President of the Chamber of Deputies), Michel Wolter and Laurent Zeimet.
Among the DP's ranks, the following have stayed on as government ministers: Xavier Bettel, former Prime Minister and current Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade; Yuriko Backes, former Minister of Finance and current Minister of Defence, for Mobility and Public Works and for Gender Equality and Diversity; Lex Delles, who remains Minister of Tourism and of SMEs but is now also Minister of the Economy and of Energy; Claude Meisch, who remains Minister of Education, Children and Youth but is now also Minister of Housing, and Max Hahn, who remains Minister for Family Affairs but also of Solidarity, "Living Together" and Reception.
New faces in government from the DP include general practitioner Stéphanie Obertin, who now serves as Minister for Digitalisation and of Research and Higher Education, and (now) former Schieren Mayor Eric Thill, who currently serves as Minister of Culture (and Minister Delegate for Tourism). Both ran for DP in the recent elections but were not elected to parliament.
Following the swearing in of the government, the following individuals took the DP's remaining seats in the Chamber of Deputies: Pétange municipal councillor Barbara Agostino, Walferdange municipal councillor Guy Arendt, Junglinster Alderman Gilles Baum, Luxembourg City Alderman Patrick Goldschmidt and former professional tennis player Mandy Minella. This is in addition to the nine DP MPs sworn in already in October, namely: André Bauler, Simone Beissel, Corinne Cahen, Luc Emering, Fernand Etgen, Gusty Graas, Carole Hartmann, Lydie Polfer and Gérard Schockmel.
The CSV currently has 21 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and the DP has fourteen.
The four mayor vacancies resulting from the new government formation are also set to be filled in the coming weeks, which in turn may have a knock-on effect on the composition of the municipal councils of Mamer, Grevenmacher, Esch-sur-Alzette and Schieren.
The opposition is composed of MPs from the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP; eleven seats), the Alternative Democratic Reform Party (ADR; five seats), the Greens (déi Gréng; four seats), the Pirates (three seats) and the Left (déi Lénk; two seats). When the LSAP and the Greens moved into the opposition, the following former government ministers took their seats in parliament: François Bausch (Greens), Taina Bofferding (LSAP), Franz Fayot (LSAP), Georges Engel (LSAP), Claude Haagen (LSAP), Paulette Lenert (LSAP), Sam Tanson (Greens) and Joëlle Welfring (Greens). Former Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn (LSAP) decided not to take his seat in parliament - a vacancy filled by Yves Cruchten, who was sworn in with the other remaining MPs last week.