New Year’s reception

Paulette Lenert ready to lead LSAP into elections

Paulette Lenert took advantage of the LSAP New Year’s reception on Friday 20 January to confirm what was expected: she is officially putting herself at the service of her party for the legislative elections of October 2023.

The LSAP was the last of the major parties to hold its traditional New Year’s reception. The reception was held on Friday 20 January in the south-east of the country, in Schengen, a place that is eminently symbolic for the left-wing party.

This village, whose name will forever be linked to an important stage in the construction of the European Union, provided an ideal setting to pay tribute to Socialist MEP Marc AngelMarc Angel, who was elected vice-president of the European Parliament on 18 January.

And this, before allowing, a few minutes later, Paulette LenertPaulette Lenert, the current deputy prime minister and minister of health, to speak in a region that is only a stone’s throw from her place of residence (Remich).

In the east and not in the north

The speech of the woman who remains the most popular politician in the country in the polls was eagerly awaited. Many hoped that she would declare herself available to lead the party in the October parliamentary elections, and this is exactly what the former magistrate confirmed on-stage. She has taken the time to reflect on her decision, according to those close to her.

Given the statutes of the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party, it’s still necessary to wait for the congress scheduled for the beginning of the summer (end of June or beginning of July) to formalise the lists and the heads of lists for the legislative elections. But, barring an earthquake, it now seems certain that Lenert will lead the LSAP in the eastern constituency (and not the central one as some had imagined) alongside a male colleague (yet to be determined), as the party has decided to operate with double-headers.

LSAP, the target of other parties

With this announcement, the woman who tiptoed into the government in 2018 (with consumer protection but also cooperation and humanitarian action as attributions), before taking over the ministry of health in 2020 and being propelled into the limelight by the pandemic, sets herself up as a possible candidate for the post of prime minister. This will be her first time running in an election.

Last October, she told Delano’s sister publication Paperjam that she “feels like a target.” This is unlikely to change as other parties can now put a face to the party that polls predict will win the next national election.

The last few weeks have already seen a lot of attacks and pressure on the LSAP. Whether they come from the DP, from déi Gréng, from déi Lénk or from the CSV, for whom “the government coalition (DP-LSAP-déi Gréng) seems today incapable of a common action.

“When I hear what the other parties are saying, one might think that we are the target of the moment,” explained Francine ClosenerFrancine Closener, the co-president of the LSAP. “What I'm hearing is that the polls seem to be saying that we are on the right track. On our side, we are not going to spend our time responding to all the attacks. We're not going to go into overdrive. The CSV? It has been predicting all along that this coalition government will not be able to work together. So it's just repeating the same old story…”

The programmes are coming

In the LSAP ranks, a framework programme for the municipal elections is “almost ready.” As for the programme for the legislative elections, it is currently being finalised in the various working groups. It is not a big surprise that it will revolve around the five main priorities defined by the party: housing, work, education, health (and social security) and the energy transition.

“There are still six months to go before the local elections and ten months before the legislative elections. So we still have a lot of work to do. But we are ready for the year 2023,” concluded Closener.

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