From Sandweiler to Strasbourg, the epic journey of a political leaflet

By Camille FratiLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

The ban on a leaflet ahead of a referendum in Sandweiler in 2021 will soon be referred to the European Court of Human Rights.

Election campaigns are often tense times. Elected representatives play for their seats and hope for a majority on their side, activists occupy the field and lampposts are adorned with posters. The political game can go even further and take over the courts. During the last municipal elections, the Pirates reported to the public prosecutor's office the door-to-door campaign run by déi Lénk to encourage non-Luxembourg residents to register to vote in their municipality. In the end, the public prosecutor's office did not detect any infringement of the law in this initiative.

Sometimes the courts consider that there are grounds for intervention, and the legal battle unfolds in parallel with the political jousting, or even beyond its initial purpose. This is what has been going on for over two years in Sandweiler, starting with the referendum of 25 April 2021. The aim of the referendum was to seek residents' views on the fate of the town hall, which is recognisable by its rotunda shape. The CSV-déi gréng majority elected in 2017 had planned to demolish the building on the grounds that it was becoming dilapidated and too small to house all the municipality's services, and to rebuild a more spacious, better laid-out community centre with modern architecture.

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