Luxembourg’s coalition under Bettel collapses due to Green losses in tight elections

Luxembourg’s three-party coalition led by liberal Prime Minister Xavier Bettel lost its decade-long hold on power in tight parliamentary elections, mostly because of a poor showing by the Green party, according to election results early Monday.

Bettel’s DP liberal party surged from 12 to 14 seats in the 60-seat house in Sunday’s elections and the socialist LSAP also added a seat to reach 11. But the fall of the Greens from nine to four seats meant that the coalition falls just short of the numbers needed for a continued five-year stint in government.

The Christian Democrat CSV remains the biggest single party in parliament with 21 seats and will be the power broker to form the next government.

Ten years ago, Bettel succeeded Jean-Claude Juncker, the Christian Democrat who had been Europe’s longest serving democratically elected leader at the time. The CSV Christian Democrats have been left uncharacteristically on the sidelines for the past 10 years, despite being the single biggest party.

In the last elections, Bettel’s coalition controlled 31 of the 60 seats in the Luxembourg parliament.

Coalition talks might take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Luxembourg is the European Union’s second-smallest country, with a population of 650,000 people, and is its richest per capita.

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