Principles

Municipal elections

The municipal elections are broadly defined by the electoral law of 18 February 2003 and the municipal law of 13 December 1988.

Every 6 years

In the Grand Duchy, municipal elections take place every 6 years.

Direct elections of members of the municipal council

People who are registered on the electoral lists directly elect members of the municipal council of their place of residence. Voters have as many votes as there are councillors to elect.

The number of municipal councillors depends on the municipality's number of inhabitants. This is always an odd number.

Municipal councils, including members of the College of Aldermen, are composed as follows:

  • of 7 members in municipalities with a population of up to 999 inhabitants;
  • of 9 members in municipalities of 1,000 to 2,999 inhabitants;
  • of 11 members in municipalities of 3,000 to 5,999 inhabitants;
  • of 13 members in municipalities of 6,000 to 9,999 inhabitants;
  • of 15 members in municipalities of 10,000 to 14,999 inhabitants;
  • of 17 members in municipalities of 15,000 to 19,999 inhabitants;
  • of 19 members in municipalities of 20,000 inhabitants or more; with the exception of the municipal council of the City of Luxembourg, which is composed of 27 members.​

The number of municipal councils allocated to each commune is determined by Grand Ducal regulation.

Municipal councillors are elected for a period of 6 years. The members can be re-elected.

2 different election modes

Each municipality is an electoral district. All the voters of a municipality participate in the election of members of the municipal council.

In municipalities with a population of under 3,000 inhabitants, elections take place according to the system of relative majority.

In other municipalities, elections are carried out according to the list system with proportional representation.

The College of Aldermen

The College of Aldermen of each municipality is composed of one mayor and

  • 2 aldermen in municipalities with a population of under 10,000 inhabitants;
  • 3 aldermen in municipalities with a population of 10,000 to 19,999 inhabitants;
  • 4 aldermen in municipalities with a population of 20,000 inhabitants or more.​

The City of Luxembourg has 6 aldermen.

Aldermen are appointed by the Minister of Home Affairs upon presentation of the municipal council or the majority of newly elected members of the municipal council. They are appointed for 6 years.

The mayor is appointed for 6 years by the Grand Duke upon presentation of the municipal council or the majority of newly elected members of the municipal council.

Mandatory voting

Voting is mandatory for all registered voters. Voters may not be represented by proxy.

Those who are unable to vote in the election must explain the reason for their absence to their local State Prosecutor, and provide the necessary supporting documents. Unjustified abstentions are punishable by a fine. In the event of repeat offences, the penalty is increased.

People living in a different municipality than the one where they are asked to vote at the time of the election and voters above 75 years of age have the right to be excluded.

Right to vote of non-Luxembourgish citizens

Non-Luxembourgish citizens who have resided in Luxembourg for at least five years, of which the last year of residence prior to the request for registration on the electoral list must be uninterrupted at the time of the request for registration on the electoral list, have the right to vote in municipal elections without losing the right to vote within the municipality of their home country.

Deadline to register on electoral lists

Electoral lists are permanent and are updated on an ongoing basis. Luxembourg nationals are automatically registered on the electoral list of their municipality of residence in Luxembourg as soon as they meet the legal conditions to vote.

Foreign nationals who are willing to participate in the municipal elections for the first time need to make a request for registration on the electoral list to the municipal administration of their municipality of residence. Such requests can be made as soon as the conditions to vote are met. Electoral lists are temporarily established 87 days prior to election day, which is the deadline to register.

Postal voting

All voters registered on electoral lists are permitted to vote by post as part of municipal elections.