“It's renewal plus experience,” said Lydie Polfer (DP), mayor of Luxembourg City, at the presentation of the 27 DP candidates for the municipal elections in the capital, which took place on Thursday evening in the recently opened L’Hêtre Beim restaurant in the Lëtzebuerg city museum.
The experience is obvious: Lydie Polfer, the head of the election list, has 27 years of experience at the helm of the capital, the first time from 1982 to 1999, the second time since 2013. Alongside her, Patrick Goldschmidt, co-leader of the list, has been an alderman for 10 years and joined the municipal council in 2009.
Experience vs. renewal
Among the candidates for re-election, Colette Mart joined the local council in 1999 and has been an alderwoman since 2011, while Simone Beissel was elected to the local council in 1991, and served as an alderwoman between 2000 and 2005 and since 2009. Of the nine elected in the last municipal elections six years ago, only two are not standing for re-election: Jeff Wirtz and Héloïse Bock, who announced this recently.
As for renewal, Polfer is delighted to have 12 candidates out of 27 who are taking part in a municipal election for the first time. A “balanced” list, according to the current mayor, with equal numbers of women and men (13 women and 14 men), an average age of 45 and a range of socio-professional backgrounds, from commerce to social work to education--“all areas that seem essential.”
Minister Corinne Cahen on the list
Among the well-known figures is the current minister Corinne Cahen, who announced a few months ago that she was running for office and would give up her portfolios if elected. But also the entrepreneurs Alexandre De Toffol (Partigiano, Pop-up Hertz, Bella Ciao) or Anne Kaiffer, of the butchery of the same name.
In terms of the programme, mobility will be one of the spearheads of the campaign. “We must ensure that we continue to modernise our infrastructure so that it keeps pace with the extraordinary development that the city is undergoing,” says Polfer. Public transport is a priority, combining train, tram and bus, not to mention making the roads safe for bicycles.
Extending the reign
Housing is of course essential--6,600 building permits have been granted in the city since 2018, the mayor reminds us--but also security. “The feeling of insecurity among citizens and delinquency must be combated,” assures the DP, who, like the CSV, calls for the creation of a legal framework for a municipal police force, subordinated to the mayor.
As the campaign begins, the mayor candidate hopes to remain “the most important party” and is open to any governing alliance. “It’s the voter who decides,” she said. It remains to be seen whether she will convince the electorate to renew the long reign of the DP and whether it will not be seduced by the arguments of her opponents who, like déi Gréng, are calling for a “new wind” and a political changeover in the city.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.