Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel hinted at a re-election bid in an interview with RTL on Friday evening, ahead of the upcoming 2023 general election.
Although Bettel refrained from explicitly confirming that he would run for a third term as Prime Minister, he acknowledged that he still has a desire to work "with and for people".
With six months to go before people deliver their final verdict on the DP-LSAP-Greens coalition in the legislative elections, Bettel has still avoided directly answering the question of whether he will head the list of the Democratic Party on 8 October. In conversation with RTL on Friday evening, he still left a little doubt about his intentions for the campaign.
"It's up to my party to decide", said the PM with a smile. The desire, the energy, and the motivation are still there to run a third time and "I would be lying if I said I was tired of it", he acknowledged.
When asked about Luc Frieden, head of the CSV list and undoubtedly Bettel's most experienced competitor, who recently declared that "this coalition has run out of steam", the DP politician reassured viewers of his unbroken commitment to fulfilling the coalition agreement and overcoming any challenges that appear along the way, including the pandemic, the energy crisis, and rampant inflation.
'Voters will decide'
PM Bettel continued by saying that "voters will decide what the balance of power will be on the evening of 8 October" and that any potential coalition will depend on the content of the electoral programme.
While denouncing the option of working with extremes, regardless of whether they be on the left or the right, as inconceivable, PM Bettel does not exclude the possibility of coming to an agreement with the Christian Social People's Party (CSV) or continuing the current tripartite coalition. "There is chemistry with the LSAP and the Greens", argued the PM.
"I will not become Prime Minister just for the sake of it. I will not run for office and run straight into a wall", stressed the DP politician again. He went on to say that he doesn't know the programmes of the other parties, but confirmed that he considers some positions a clear "no-no", including the introduction of a 35-hour work week or the increase of corporate and inheritance taxes.
The DP politician also addressed Luxembourg's working relations with its neighbouring countries, citing his phone call to French president Emmanuel Macron at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic to prevent the borders from closing and to ensure that border workers, who are indispensable in Luxembourg's healthcare sector, could continue working in the Grand Duchy.