Out of parliament

By Pascal SteinwachsMisch Pautsch Switch to German for original article

How do you feel when you are not re-elected and your own party is suddenly in opposition? We asked Tess Burton (LSAP) and Jessie Thill (déi gréng), who are no longer in parliament but both still hold a local political mandate.

We got the idea for this article from a post by Jessie Thill, which she published on Facebook and Instagram at the end of October, three weeks after her party's election disaster. This was because she had been repeatedly asked how she was feeling after leaving the Chamber of Deputies ("because I keep getting asked how I'm doing and what I'm doing now, I've decided to update you all and satisfy your curiosity").

In the same social media post, the Green politician states, among other things, that the last few weeks have not been the easiest, but not the worst either. In addition to her work as First Alderwoman of the municipality of Walferdange and as Vice President of the nature conservation syndicate Sicona (Centre), she has "tidied up at home (was sorely needed), did my tax return, cuddled with my cat, binge-watched Netflix, saw friends, tried to make my own hemp flower tea and started playing basketball again", and she will continue to do so for a few more weeks before resuming her job at the environmental administration in February.

No trace of idleness

Reason enough for us to ask the former youngest member of parliament, who only replaced Carlo Back in the Chamber in January 2022 after he gave up his seat for reasons of age, whether she has actually kept up with the tidying up, tax returns, hemp flower tea and basketball. And yes, let me tell you this much, she has.

We then knock on the door of Tess Burton, whose party has also been relegated to the opposition after what feels like an eternity in government following the elections on 8 October. This means that, with the exception of Yves Cruchten, who was able to replace Jean Asselborn in parliament after he retired from active politics (for the time being?), no one can take over from the LSAP this time.

Tess Burton had previously replaced Nicolas Schmit twice: in 2013, when Schmit became a minister again, and in 2018, when Schmit voluntarily gave up his seat to run in the European elections a few months later (and become an EU Commissioner a few months after that).

We visit the two former MEPs in their respective municipalities on two consecutive days just before Christmas: Jessie Thill in Walferdange and Tess Burton in Grevenmacher.

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