Greens Emerge as Winners in Luxembourg, Socialists Incur Losses

(Bloomberg) -- The makeup of Luxembourg’s next government was left open by the result of national elections Sunday, after the Greens and the Pirate Party gained seats in the 60-seat Parliament while Socialists, Liberals and Conservatives all incurred losses.

The overall winner was the Christian Social People, or CSV, the party of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the country’s former prime minister. But the party lost two seats, leaving it with 21. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel’s Liberals were left with 12 seats after losing one, and his coalition partner, the Socialists, lost three seats, coming out of the vote with 10.

The Greens, in government since 2013, added another three seats to their six. The Pirate Party enters Parliament for the first time, winning two seats.

“What is clear is that people want the Greens to be in government,” Francois Bausch, the Greens’ leading candidate and current minister for sustainable development and infrastructure, told RTL television on Sunday.

The results leave open the possibility of a renewed coalition between Liberals, Socialists and Greens, or a new government with a different makeup. The question is whether the CSV will end up in government again, and whether the Socialists will be pushed into opposition after their losses.

2013 Flashback

The result is reminiscent of 2013, when Juncker’s CSV won most of the votes and seats but ended up being kicked into opposition when Bettel formed a coalition with the Socialists and the Greens. It became the first government in almost two decades without Juncker at the helm.

Despite the loss of a seat, Bettel called it a “fantastic result,” and told RTL Television he was “very satisfied” because polls in the last few months suggested a less promising outcome. He wouldn’t comment yet on a possible coalition for the next government.

Nestled between Belgium, France and Germany, the tiny nation of about 600,000 citizens has become the world’s second-biggest fund market and an attractive hub for multinational companies such Amazon.com Inc.

While voting is mandatory in Luxembourg, the country’s 48 percent of foreigners aren’t allowed to participate in national elections unless they acquire citizenship.

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