Minister for agriculture and social security Romain Schneider has told RTL that he does not want to be on the ballot at the 2023 parliamentary elections and will no longer “be available for political function”.
Schneider’s announcement comes hot on the heels of the decision by LSAP deputy prime minister and minister for employment Dan Kersch, who announced on Monday that he will not seek a ministerial position in the next government if the LSAP is part of a coalition, Like Kersch, Schneider did not make it clear whether he would complete his current mandate. He said he would discuss the matter internally with his party and then make a decision.
The news is undoubtedly another blow for the LSAP. Schneider was the only directly elected member of his party in the north constituency, and even ranked fourth overall in the constituency, which is traditionally rather conservative.
The LSAP has been in steady decline in the polls over the past 15 years. At the 2004 elections it polled over 25% of the vote nationally. But in 2018 it attracted just 17.6% of the electorate and lost 3 seats, leaving it with just 10 members of parliament.
But Schneider has faced a barrage of criticism from the farmers’ union over the past week. The Bauerenzentral said the minister’s handling of politics with the sector’s representatives was "sometimes lamentable". On Wednesday Schneider refuted allegations that he was not available in his ministry and that couintless letters from professional organisations had gone unanswered.
“We have no unanswered letter from the Bauerenzentral here,” he told RTL “The only thing we have is a personal letter from a farmer, a mandate holder at the Bauerenzentral, which is actually a formal appeal case. That's another thing. On 19 April this year, the Bauerenzentral asked for a meeting with me. On April 29, I received them here [at the ministry] for talks."