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Reducing the size of the Bundestag: The government majority supports reform of the electoral law

Reducing the size of the Bundestag: The government majority supports reform of the electoral law

Status: 03/14/2023 10:20 PM

It seems the Traffic Light Coalition can pass the electoral reform unopposed. The bill was approved in an internal vote in the parliamentary blocs. The Union and the Left have already announced a constitutional complaint.

The traffic lights coalition is expected to adopt the electoral law reform, which the union and the Left Party have vehemently rejected, by its own majority on Friday in the Bundestag. In the afternoon’s parliamentary caucuses vote, members of the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party unanimously agreed, and members of the Social Democratic Party agreed by an overwhelming majority. This was announced by the leaders of the parliamentary group Rolf Mutzenich (SPD), Britta Hasselmann (Green) and Christian Dürr (Free Democratic Party). He announced constitutional lawsuits against reform.

As a result of the reforms, the Bundestag, which has grown to 736 members, will be reduced again to 630 seats at the next elections. The main point is that there will be no burden or compensation mandates in the future. The so-called basic authorization clause will also be deleted. This affects the fact that a party also enters the Bundestag based on the result of its second vote if it misses the five percent barrier but wins at least three direct mandates.

In this way, the left will not be represented in the Bundestag today because it received only 4.9 percent of the second vote in the 2021 federal election. The CSU came in with 5.2 percent nationally, which has historically been poor. If he had fallen below the five percent barrier, he would not have earned any of the 45 direct mandates he won under the new model.

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Union approval is unlikely

Traffic light faction leaders unanimously called the reform “fair and constitutional” and made it clear that they were comfortable about the review by the Federal Constitutional Court. At the same time, they pleaded with the Confederation to agree to reform after all. However, this is not likely.

If there is a majority for the plans in the Bundestag, “in my opinion, a revision of the constitution is already necessary,” unionist parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz said in Berlin. He will propose to his group to reject the plans on Friday. The CDU president announced that in the event of a similar decision in the Bundestag, the union bloc would decide on a possible lawsuit in the next week of meetings at the end of March.

Souder: Draft is ‘fat dog’

CSU leader Marcus Soeder sees his party involved in the Traffic Light Coalition project for a new federal electoral law. He said in Munich that the draft, which will be decided by the Bundestag on Friday, is a “big dog”. Soder announced that if in doubt, he would sue.

The left faction also wants to move to Karlsruhe. “I say very clearly: We will also try to contact the Federal Constitutional Court,” Dietmar Bartsch, leader of the left-wing parliamentary bloc, said on RTL / ntv channels. Everything will be done to ensure that this law does not become a reality – after all, this is an attack on democracy.

Traffic lights representatives reported that they were still trying Monday evening to reach an agreement with the Democratic opposition. Unfortunately this was not successful.

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