With election posters going up over the weekend, campaigning for the 11 June local ballot officially got underway across the country with some claims that a fair elections agreement has already been violated.

Parties for campaigning for the local elections to begin four weeks before voters head to the polls.

Accusations are now flying that parties broke the agreement and began putting up election posters before 13 May, the agreed date. The mayor of Esch-sur-Alzette, Georges Mischo (CSV), in a Facebook post said that opposition party LSAP had put up posters early.

“The CSV, déi Gréng and the DP are sticking to the elections agreement, which was initiated by the national LSAP; the biggest opposition party in Esch unfortunately isn’t,” he said together with a nighttime picture of representatives of the three parties.

Already last week, Marc Ruppert--who is running as a candidate for Fokus in Luxembourg City--had said during a press conference that the elections agreement had been violated by numerous parties who began posting campaign material in people’s letterboxes ahead of the official start of campaigning on 15 May.

For the national elections in October, parties agreed to limit the so-called “toutes-boîtes,” where printed material is posted in every mailbox, to two distributions. No such pledge was made for the local elections.

However, campaign spending should be limited to €100,000 for publicity on broadcast media and in cinemas, excluding the cost of production. Sponsored content on social media must be clearly labelled and there should be no advertising on public transport.

Parties also agreed not to hurl personal insults, slander other candidates or spread misinformation and fake news. 

One in ten non-national candidates

There are 3,847 for 1,121 posts as mayor, alderman or town councillor in communes across the country. In six municipalities--Bourscheid, Nommern, Stadtbredimus, Vichten, Weiler-la-Tour and Winseler--there will not be a vote for a lack of candidates.

Just over a third of candidates--38.5% or 1,483 individuals--are women, compared to 2,364 men. Non-nationals make up for fewer than one in ten candidates (9.58%) although anyone with double nationality is counted among the 3,468 Luxembourg entries.

One in five foreigners meanwhile to cast their ballot on 11 June. While Luxembourg nationals are automatically signed up to vote, non-nationals had to register by 17 April and 50,084 people heeded the call. This was up from 40,621 in 2017. In the capital, 15.9% of the 68,504 eligible voters will be deciding on the future mayor of Luxembourg City.