Constitutional amendments require approval by a two-thirds majority in parliament.
Photo: Matic Zorman
The CSV is holding firm over a consultative referendum on changes to the constitution.
Talks on planned reform of Luxembourg’s constitution will be resumed when parliament returns from summer recess after the CSV refused to budge on its demand for a consultative referendum on some of the major changes in the bill. Constitutional amendments require approval by a two-thirds majority in parliament, which means the CSV can effectively veto the bill.
The conservatives want to ask citizens their opinions on changes to the voting system, including whether future elections should be fought in one country-wide constituency rather than the four unevenly balanced districts. The question of whether MPs should also be allowed to hold executive power in local government is also one that the CSV would like to put to voters.
Reform of the constitution was actually launched under a CSV-LSAP government and has been some 20 years in the making. Draft legislation was first proposed in 2009 by CSV MP Paul-Henri Meyers. It took until 2018 to rework the text until it was approved by the cross-party institutions and constitutional reform commission. An information campaign was meant to be launched this autumn, followed by a binding referendum.
But the CSV had a change of heart earlier this summer and announced that it wanted to launch a consultative process with citizens. The party’s co-reporter of the bill, Léon Gloden and his party president Frank Engel said that if the bill was put to a vote in parliament without a prior consultative referendum they would vote against the reform. They have been supported by the ADR.
President of the constitutional reform commission, the LSAP’s Alex Bodry, has said it won’t be easy to find a solution to the impasse.