5 months to go before the local elections: Minister Taina Bofferding presents the timetable, the key figures and the challenges of equality

On 11 June 2023, voters will renew all communal councils in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The main dates for this election and the major changes compared to the last communal elections were the focus of a press conference held today at the Ministry of Home Affairs. Minister Taina Bofferding also took the opportunity, in her capacity as Minister of Equality between Women and Men, to explain the initiatives taken by the ministry to promote a better mix in the composition of local councils.

©MINT Taina Bofferding, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister of Equality between Women and Men
Taina Bofferding, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister of Equality between Women and Men

With regard to the organisation of the local elections, Taina Bofferding insisted on some key dates that define the timetable. In particular, 17 April, the 55th day before the elections, is the last day for all non-Luxembourgish residents who wish to register on the electoral roll. The registration deadline has been extended by 31 days compared to the 2017 municipal elections.

The last date for submitting candidacies is 12 April and the drawing of lots for the list numbers takes place the following day. The electoral lists will be published on 18 April.

After the elections, all new communal councils will have to take office by 1 September at the latest.

It should be noted that in the municipal elections of June 2023, 56 municipalities vote according to the proportional representation system and 46[1] according to the relative majority system. 1,121 members of the municipal councils will be directly elected, from which the majority of the newly elected members will propose 100 candidates for the post of mayor and 222 candidates for the post of aldermen (at the most) to the Grand Duke and the Minister for Home Affairs respectively.

However, it should be noted that currently only 280 women sit on municipal councils, 227 of whom are councillors (compared to 533 male councillors), 37 are alderwomen (compared to 189 aldermen) and 16 are mayors (compared to 86 male mayors). It is clear that there are still considerable gender differences in political representation at local level. The reasons for this are manifold: women are particularly subject to many prejudices and stereotypes when it comes to their abilities and capacities to hold a local political mandate. Indeed, these are the obstacles that often, and unfortunately, keep them from running for a local elected office.

Minister Taina Bofferding reacted to this phenomenon by launching the campaign "Egalitéit liewen/Vivons l'égalité”, which is based on three different axes: a campaign on social networks with testimonies of women on their experiences as local representatives, open doors in the municipalities and formal trainings. The campaign was designed as an on-going project and will therefore be continued after the local elections.

Taina Bofferding concludes: "Women make up half of the population. Calling for more gender diversity in local councils is therefore not a question of ideology, but of representation. The views and skills of the female population enrich political debates and thus constitute a complementarity that should not be ignored."

[1] The municipalities of Grosbous and Wahl as well as Bous and Waldbredimus are to be counted separately until the merger is completed, which will only be the case from 1 September 2023.

Press release by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Equality between Women and Men

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