On Saturday afternoon, MPs Mars di Bartolomeo, Léon Gloden, and Fernand Kartheiser debated the planned constitutional reform during a discussion hosted on RTL Radio.
MP Léon Gloden from the Christian Social People's Party (CSV) is the rapporteur of the constitutional reform's judicial section. Gloden stressed that his party stands by the constitution and the four 'chapters' drawn up by the Parliamentary Commission on Institutions but is willing to "listen to the people" and "does not fear a referendum". If a referendum were organised, Gloden announced that he himself would campaign for a clear 'yes' to every chapter. However, the MP acknowledged that the petition on which the CSV is basing its stance on a referendum is clearly opposed to the four proposed chapters.
This led MP Mars di Bartolomeo from the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP), who is also the President of the Parliamentary Commission on Institutions, to point out that the constitutional revision could have already entered into force had the CSV not pivoted after the 2018 elections and thrown the consensus within the Parliamentary Commission on Institutions off balance. According to Bartolomeo, the fact that the CSV has now once again changed its stance is "pure opportunism". The LSAP MP accuses the CSV of trying to "copy" the Alternative Democratic Reform Party (adr), having now tied its stance to a petition which goes against everything the Chamber of Deputies worked towards over the past 15 years.
Gloden rejected the accusations, stating that for as long as he has something to say in the CSV, the party would never imitate the adr. However, Gloden did not want to comment on why the CSV actually decided to change its stance on a referendum.
MP Fernand Kartheiser argued that the adr has been in favour of a referendum "from the beginning". The adr has also heavily criticised the proposed changes to the constitution. While the party welcomes the CSV's sudden change of mind, Kartheiser admitted that he too finds it "odd". Kartheiser stressed that he hopes the related petition reaches its goal of 25,000 signatures, pointing out that it was a member of the CSV who created it in the first place.
According to Kartheiser, the debate surrounding the constitutional reform showed the political importance of the adr. The MP thinks it is a sign of arrogance to dictate to the population what politicians think is good for them and consider them "too stupid" to make their own decisions. Kartheiser concluded by stressing that it is up to "the people" to decide and up to the politicians to hold themselves accountable.
In response, both Bartolomeo and Gloden accused the adr of spreading misinformation, for instance by claiming that the constitutional reform would be used to introduce voting rights for non-Luxembourgers "through the backdoor", or that it would weaken the position of the Grand Duke.