POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - POLITICS

Opposition

CSV paves way for new leadership with statutes change



The aim of this doubling of posts is to rejuvenate the party, but it will also allow women to be put forward, as parity is foreseen: Elisabeth Margue will be in charge of the co-presidency, while Stéphanie Weydert will assist Christophe Hansen in the General Secretariat. (Photo: CSV)

The aim of this doubling of posts is to rejuvenate the party, but it will also allow women to be put forward, as parity is foreseen: Elisabeth Margue will be in charge of the co-presidency, while Stéphanie Weydert will assist Christophe Hansen in the General Secretariat. (Photo: CSV)

Luxembourg’s main opposition party, the CSV, on Saturday approved changes to its statutes to formalise a leadership change presented in April. 

The Christian democrats in April presented a new party leadership team which sees key roles occupied by two people. Claude Wiseler, for example, is co-president with Elisabeth Margue; Paul Galles is co-deputy president with Anne Logelin. Martine Hansen and Gilles Roth lead the party’s group in parliament in tandem. 

But party members on Saturday had to adopt changes to the statutes to formally allow the doubling of mandates, which also extends to the possibility of having more than one person as the top candidate in the 2023 national elections. The aim of the initiative is to give more responsibility to younger party members and prepare the next generation for leadership. 

Wiseler, who was voted party president in April, ran on the condition that he could assemble an entire team around him. “Politics is a tough job. I wanted to have the possibility to get people around me whom I trust, who trust me,” he told Delano in an interview. This team also remains to be formally approved by the party, which will meet for another congress. 

The vote on party leadership came in the wake of a scandal surrounding then-president Frank Engel, who found himself accused of misuse of party assets after drawing a salary from a not-for-profit affiliated with the party. The so-called CSV Frëndeskrees owns the party’s HQ as political parties cannot own real estate.

Engel in return for €40,000 was supposed to find a new party HQ, a plan which was later dropped, as well as explore transforming the Frëndeskrees into a foundation, which also didn’t happen. Engel stepped down and the matter is under investigation by the public prosecutor.

A public hearing is planned before the end of the year, the prosecutor’s office said in June. A second investigation--into Engel being reimbursed for social security contributions--is ongoing.

The matter could yet dampen hopes for Wiseler’s new leadership team as Margue and Stéphanie Weydert--slated for being co-secretary general--have reportedly also been targeted by the prosecutor’s office for having signed off on the contract between Engel and the party not-for-profit, where they held senior positions. 

Members of the CSV’s group in parliament had reported the suspicion of misuse of assets to the public prosecutor after a review of annual accounts showed the transaction.