Record petition

Referendum on constitutional reforms to be debated

Citizens have expressed their desire for a referendum on constitutional reform. (File photo: Mike Zenari)

Citizens have expressed their desire for a referendum on constitutional reform. (File photo: Mike Zenari)

A petition requesting a referendum on constitutional reform reached a record number of 18,645 signatures.

This is a record since the introduction of public petitions in spring 2014. The parliamentary administration services have verified all the signatures collected by Petition No. 2007. That surpassed petition 698-- "Lëtzebuerger Sprooch als 1. Amtssprooch gesëtzlech fir all Awunner zu Lëtzebuerg festzeleeën" (Lëtzebuergesch as the first official language established for all residents of Luxembourg)--which attracted 14,500 signatures in 2016. More than 2,000 duplicates were removed from the total of signatures to the petition, but the petition still far exceeded the 4,500 minimum of signatories required for it to be debated by the relevant parliamentary committee.

This petition gives a good indication of the will of the Luxembourg population. In the last Politmolitor, 54% of the population stated that they wanted to have their say on the constitution. Worringly, 70% of the population also isn’t aware of the changes sought by the constitutional reform that the petition targets.

Yet, petition or no petition, the Luxembourg population can ask for a referendum. Bettel had deemed acceptable the request to hold a referendum on the proposed revision of Chapter VI of the Constitution. However, in order for the referendum to take place, voters will have to register on the lists of their municipality. The request will succeed if the total number of valid signatures amounts to at least 25,000.

The author of the petition will therefore be able to present his demands to the members of the relevant parliamentary committees as well as to Bettel on 25 November at 2 pm.

This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.