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Luxembourg rejects extending voting rights to foreigners

Luxemburgers rejected extending voting rights to foreigners on Sunday, a move that would have been unprecedented in Europe and that could have expanded the electorate of the tiny but cosmopolitan grand duchy by as much as 50%.

world Updated: Jun 08, 2015 01:25 IST
Luxembourg

Luxemburgers rejected extending voting rights to foreigners on Sunday, a move that would have been unprecedented in Europe and that could have expanded the electorate of the tiny but cosmopolitan grand duchy by as much as 50%.

With 82% of a referendum count completed, only about one in five voters supported allowing long-time foreign residents to vote in national elections, part of a modernising agenda backed by liberal Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.

There were also clear majorities against lowering the voting age to 16 from 18 and introducing 10-year term limits for ministers, following the 19-year rule of Bettel's conservative predecessor Jean-Claude Juncker, now the EU's chief executive.