Standing as a candidate in communal elections

Each commune has a communal council (that represents the commune) and a board of mayor and aldermen (that is the executive and administrative body for daily management of the commune), whose members are chosen from among the communal councillors. The communal councillors are directly elected by the inhabitants of the commune.

The communal council is renewed every 6 years during elections which are usually held on the second Sunday in October.

The elections can be moved to the first Sunday in June if the legislative elections and the communal elections were scheduled to take place in October of the same year.

The number of communal councillors in the communal council is determined by the number of inhabitants in the commune.

Each commune is an electoral district. Voters have as many votes as there are councillors to elect. The members of the board of mayor and aldermen of each commune are selected from the communal council.

At least 65 days before the election, the chairperson of the main polling station—this office is set up well before the date of elections—publishes a notice in the media setting the days, times and venue for the filing of candidate applications and designations of witnesses.

Who is concerned

Luxembourgers and non-Luxembourgers residing in Luxembourg may stand as candidates in municipal elections.

Non-Luxembourg citizens residing in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg may stand as candidates in communal elections without losing the right to vote in the commune of their country of origin. They may be elected to the offices of communal councillor, mayor or alderman.

The loss of one condition of eligibility leads to the termination of the mandate.

All elected communal officials are entitled to political leave.

Prerequisites

To be eligible to stand as a candidate in communal elections, the person must:

  • enjoy the civil rights and not be deprived of the right of eligibility in Luxembourg or in their country of origin. This latter condition however cannot be applied to non-Luxembourg citizens who, in their country of origin, have lost the right to stand as a candidate, due to the fact that their place of residence is not in their country of origin;
  • be at least 18 years of age on the day of the election;
  • have their usual residence in the commune, i.e., they must have been living ordinarily for at least 6 months in the commune at the time of filing their candidate application.

Foreign nationals must also have resided for 5 years in Luxembourg at the time of submission of the application, and the last year of residence prior to the submission of the application for candidacy must be uninterrupted.

Deadlines

Candidates participating in an election under the relative majority voting system—as is the case in communes of less than 3.000 inhabitants—or under the proportional representation system—as is the case in communes of 3,000 inhabitants and more—must submit their application for candidacy at least 30 days before the day of the vote.

How to proceed

Standing for election in a commune of less than 3,000 inhabitants

Preparing a candidate application

A candidate in a communal election in a commune with less than 3,000 inhabitants (relative majority voting system) does not need to be part of a list of candidates. They must present a dated and signed candidate application that must:

  • specify the candidate's surname, first name(s), gender, address, profession, and nationality;
  • certify the candidate's commitment not to withdraw their candidacy.

A foreign national who wishes to stand as a candidate must also produce the following items:

  • a signed and dated statement specifying the following:
    • their nationality and address in Luxembourg;
    • the fact that he is not deprived of the right of eligibility in his country of origin or that the loss of the right of eligibility is due to the conditions of residence imposed by his country of origin;
  • a currently valid identity document;
  • a certificate establishing at least 5 years of residence in Luxembourg at the time of filing their candidate application. This certificate is prepared by the communal administration offices.

Submitting a candidate application

The candidate application—the standard format of which is established by the chairperson of the main office at each election—must be submitted by the candidate in person—or by a representative bearing a proxy drawn up before a notary—to the chairperson of the main office. The application must be submitted by no later than 6.00 pm on the last day for the filing of candidate applications, i.e., 30 days before the elections.

Designation of witnesses and alternate witnesses

With their candidate application, each candidate may designate no more than one witness and one alternate witness from among the voters in the commune to attend the voting operations.

On expiry of the deadline for submitting candidate applications

When the deadline for submitting candidate applications has expired, the list of candidates is approved by the main office. For a candidate application to be valid, all of the required formalities must have been complied with.

In the event of the death of a candidate

If a candidate were to die after the submission deadline for candidate applications and at least 5 days before the election, the latter must be postponed. The election day is then set by the Minister of Home Affairs (Ministre de l’Intérieur), so that, where necessary, new candidacies can be submitted. The formalities completed by the other candidates remain valid.

Standing for election in a commune of 3,000 or more inhabitants

Drawing up a list of candidates and representatives

A candidate in a communal election in a commune of 3,000 inhabitants or more (proportional representation voting system) must be part of a list of a group of candidates. A list cannot include more candidates than the number of councillors to elect in the commune in which the list is being presented. A representative or representatives must be attached to each list by signing it to show their support.

Each list of candidates is presented:

  • either by 50 voters registered in the commune;
  • or by an outgoing or incumbent communal councillor.

Independent candidates are considered as forming their own list.

Preparing a candidate application and designating a representative

The candidates and representatives of each list prepare a candidate application whose format is established by the chairperson of the main polling station.

The candidate application must:

  • be dated;
  • be signed;
  • specify each candidate's surname, first name(s), address, profession, and nationality;
  • specify the surnames, first names, addresses, professions, and nationalities of the 50 voters or outgoing/incumbent councillors on the list;
  • certify the commitment of all candidates not to withdraw their candidacy.

A foreign national who wishes to stand as a candidate must also produce the following items:

  • a signed and dated statement specifying the following:
    • their nationality and address in Luxembourg;
    • the fact that he is not deprived of the right of eligibility in his country of origin or that the loss of the right of eligibility is due to the conditions of residence imposed by his country of origin;
  • a currently valid identity document;
  • a certificate establishing at least 5 years of residence in Luxembourg at the time of filing their candidate application. This certificate is prepared by the communal administration offices.

Each candidate application must be submitted by a representative:

  • if a list is presented jointly by 50 voters, the representative is designated by and from among the 50 representatives on the list;
  • if a list is presented by one communal councillor, the representative is designated by and from among the candidates on the list and by the elected official who represents it.

Satisfying additional conditions

In addition to these formalities, the following conditions also apply:

  • a list cannot be composed of a majority of candidates who are not Luxembourg citizens;
  • no person can appear, either as candidate or as representative, in more than one list for the same commune;
  • each list must have a name. If different lists have identical names, the representatives are invited to make the necessary changes to differentiate the names before the expiry of the deadline for candidate applications. Otherwise these lists are designated by a letter of order by the chairperson of the main polling station;
  • that notifications and additions to the list can be made. These must be made before the expiry of the deadline for candidate applications:
    • a candidate registered on a list can only be removed if they notify, by bailiff, the chairperson of the main polling station of their desire to withdraw;
    • additions may be made to any list, provided that the names of the candidates are presented by all the signatories of the list.

Submitting a candidate application

Each representative must submit the candidate application of their list to the chairperson of the main polling station before 18.00 on the last day for the submission of candidate applications, i.e., 30 days before the elections.

The chairperson of the main polling station records the candidate lists in the order in which they are presented and issues a receipt to each representative in the representative's name.

If several applications are filed with the same list of candidates, only the one with the earliest date will be considered valid. If they have the same date, all will be considered void.

Designation of witnesses and alternate witnesses

On submitting their candidate applications, each representative may designate no more than one witness and one alternate witness from among the voters in the commune to attend the voting operations.

In the event of the death of a candidate

If a candidate were to die after the candidate application submission deadline and at least five days before the election, the latter must be postponed.

The election day will then be set by the government so that, where necessary, new candidacies can be submitted.

However, the date of the election will not be postponed if, within five days of the death, the group of candidates on the list of the deceased declares that they will not be presenting any new candidacies.

This application is made by simple letter addressed to the chairperson of the main polling station.

The formalities completed by the other lists that were not withdrawn or modified in the required forms and within the required time frames remain valid.

Conditions of ineligibility

The following persons are not eligible:

  • persons stripped of their eligibility following a conviction;
  • persons, in correctional matters, stripped of the right to vote following a conviction;
  • people who have been convicted of a criminal offence;
  • adults under guardianship.

The following cannot be members of a communal council:

  • State ministers and secretaries;
  • civil servants and employees assigned to the Ministry of Home Affairs and to the latter's administrations;
  • career military personnel;
  • civil and military members of the management and personnel of the Grand-Ducal Police (Police grand-ducale), except those agents that do not exercise police functions;
  • ministers of religions linked to the State by convention and specified in those conventions;
  • members of administrative and legal jurisdictions, as well as their prosecutors.

Additionally, there are certain positions that are incompatible with the mandate of a member of the communal council of a given commune. These include:

  • any person who receives a fixed or variable remuneration from:
    • the commune;
    • an institution subordinate to the communal administration;
    • an intercommunal syndicate of which the commune is a part;
    • any other legal entity of public or private law with whom the commune is associated;
  • any person involved in the teaching and supervision of students, including religious and moral and social education teachers in primary schools in the commune.

The following are not eligible to stand as candidates for the offices of mayor or alderman, or to temporarily exercise such functions:

  • the following civil servants and employees, if the commune of their domicile is part of the territorial jurisdiction of their activity:
    • National Roads Administration;
    • Administration of Technical Agricultural Services;
    • Public Building Administration;
    • Environment Agency;
    • Nature Conservation Agency;
    • Health Inspection Department;
    • Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (ITM);
    • the Government's tax authorities;
  • ministers of a religion.

Furthermore, the members of a communal council may not be related by blood or marriage up to the second degree, nor may they be joined by marriage or live in a partnership by virtue of a declaration made for that purpose:

  • if two persons falling in one of these categories are elected:
    • preference is given to the person who obtains the most votes;
    • in the case of a tied vote, the chairperson of the main voting office will draw lots to determine the elected candidate;
  • if parents, relatives, spouses or partners are declared elected, the chairperson of the main voting office of the commune will draw lots to determine the elected candidate;
  • in the case of a subsequent marriage or partnership between council members, their mandate will not be revoked; the marriage is considered as dissolved on the death of the spouse; the partnership is considered as dissolved on the death of the partner.

Who to contact

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