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Luxembourg Rejects Voting Rights for Foreign Nationals

A voter casts his ballot in Mamer-Capellen, Luxembourg, June 7, 2015.

Voters in Luxembourg Sunday rejected the idea of giving voting rights to foreign-born residents.

About 80 percent of voters cast a "no" ballot in a referendum even after Prime Minister Xavier Bettel urged them to support the move. He said it would enhance Luxembourg's democracy and diversity.

Many Luxembourgers who voted ‘no’ said they feared losing political and economic influence to foreign-born nationals, who make up close to half of the tiny, but wealthy country's population.

Had the referendum approved the move, Luxembourg would have become the first European Union member to grant foreign nationals, who are not citizens, the unrestricted right to vote in national elections.

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