Luxembourg election delivers likely return to centre-right

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BRUSSELS – Luxembourg’s legislative election results on Sunday left the liberal-led coalition without a majority, making it likely the country’s long-dominant centre-right party will gain influence.

Opinion polls indicated that the centre-right Christian Social People’s Party (CSV) – which was led for 19 years by EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker – was on course to be the largest party and would end Xavier Bettel’s 10 years as prime minister of a three-party coalition and only the second non-CSV leader for Luxembourg since World War Two.

The Greens, previously the third party in government, took a hit and lost four seats, ending the governing liberal-led coalition’s majority. Meanwhile, the far-right party ADR made significant wins, becoming the country’s fourth party before the Greens.

The CSV’s result was unchanged with 21 seats, according to a projection by the government’s elections website after more than 95% of the votes were counted.

Bettel’s Democratic Party’s and his allies, the Socialist Workers Party (LSAP), both gained one seat and remained among the leading parties.

With 21 seats, the CSV, led by former finance minister Luc Frieden, needs to find a coalition partner to reach the majority of 31 seats in the 60-seat chamber, either with Bettel’s Democratic Party or the LSAP. Bettel said his party was ready to work in the new government, according to local media.

The foreign policy of the European Union’s wealthiest but second-smallest state is unlikely to change despite legislative results.

Successive governments have defended a 40-year-old economic model based on financial services and low corporate taxation.

Financial services is the largest sector the Grand Duchy’s economy, which was once dominated by steel. REUTERS

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