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The coalition government of Luxembourg's Liberal Prime Minister Xavier Bettel lost its parliamentary majority Sunday, as the Greens were routed in a general election.
That leaves the way open for the biggest single party, the conservative Christian Social People's Party (CSV).
As they did at the last elections in 2018, the CSV came out on top with 29 percent of the vote, up 0.9 percent in this small, prosperous EU state, according to the full results published on Sunday evening.
But this time the three-party coalition of Liberals, Socialists and Greens, led since 2013 by 50-year-old Bettel, will not be able to stand in their way.
Although the Liberals did see their vote share rise to 18.7 percent, support for the Greens fell by almost seven points to 8.5 percent.
In total, the alliance lost two seats and is now credited with just 29 -- less than half the 60 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.
With 21 seats, the same as five years ago, the CSV, which was led for 19 years by former EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker, appeared to be in a strong position late Sunday.
"The people of Luxembourg have spoken," said current party leader Luc Frieden, a former finance minister.
"We have received a clear mandate to lead the next government. The blue-red-green majority no longer exists."
Frieden's party has historically dominated political life in the Grand Duchy. But the party found itself out of power following a reversal of alliances 10 years ago.
Frieden may seek to forma ruling alliance either with Bettel's party, which won 14 seats, or with the Socialists of the outgoing Health Minister, Paulette Lenert, who now commands 11 parliamentary seats.
Bettel said he was "very happy with the result" of his party, declaring that "the electorate has given us a mandate to continue to have responsibilities in this country".
Lenert also claimed "we are still in the running to form a new government".
However the Greens now find themselves marginalised with just four seats, down from nine.
Talks will begin on Monday to try to form a coalition.
In accordance with political tradition, the outgoing prime minister is expected to hand in the resignation of his government to the Grand Duke.
The head of state will then consult all parties to see which coalition is the most likely to appoint a new Prime Minister able to win the confidence of parliament.
A total of 284,000 people were eligible to vote from Luxembourg's population of over 600,000.
Enjoying economic indicators that are better than the European average -- growth, employment, median wage -- Luxembourg, buoyed by its financial centre, is in a privileged position within the EU.
But experts point to the risk of widening inequalities, particularly in access to housing, where limited supply has led to soaring prices.
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