The election campaign should be “fair and objective”, representatives of the CSV, LSAP, DP, déi Gréng and ADR agreed on Tuesday morning. The five parties backed off from an earlier plan to forego commercial advertising on radio and television and set instead a budget cap of 75,000 euros. Déi Lénk are the only parliamentary party to refuse its signature under the deal, saying it did not want not participate in a “mutual bidding war”. The Pirate Party also voiced sharp criticism.
The agreement provides that the parties can spend up to 75,000 euros for advertising in the media and on the Internet. There will be no advertising in cinemas. However, this limit does not include spending on election posters. According to early estimates by political parties, large posters and billboards are likely to cost an additional 50000 euros. Many parties bought stands for such posters, which will be placed in the middle of roundabouts, for years in advance and have stored them for the elections. Having incurred all these expenses, the parties are unwilling to give up on large posters.
The parties further agreed to send out no more than four nation-wide mail shots and put up no more than 140 large-scale campaign posters along the streets. Each party will hand out up to two promotional items – a pen and one other “gadget”. Balloons will also be allowed. The first election posters are due to go up on Friday.
The CSV, LSAP, DP, déi Gréng and ADR also undertook to disclose their accounts after the elections. The taxpayer will have to refund parts of the election campaign costs once the results of the ballot are disclosed. The exact amount allocated to each party will depend on the number of seats secured in the new parliament.
Green Party co-chair Sam Tanson called the agreement “a first step towards more transparency”. Small parties disagreed. Marc Baum from Déi Lénk said that his party would have “anyway” stayed below the spending limit and objected that the agreement was “not far enough”.
Parties not represented in Parliament were not invited to the discussions. The Pirate Party will be fighting its first election campaign this summer. Its chairman Sven Clement did not see much point in having such an agreement: “If the parties were really interested in having a transparent election, they would not make deals behind closed doors. Instead, they would just publish their budgets. Our campaign will cost 25,000 euros and will be funded solely through donations.” The Party lists all related costs on its official website.
The election campaign will officially begin on 13 September.
(Sources: wort.lu, tageblatt.lu, lessentiel.lu)