March 31, 2023

German Bundestag At the plenary session on Friday, March 17, the ruling coalition voted to adopt a bill to reduce the number of MPs. Starting from the following electionsthe Bundestag, which has grown to 736 seats, will be permanently reduced to 630 mandates.

The reform of the electoral legislation was supported by 400 deputies of parliament who took part in the voting, 261 deputies voted against, 23 deputies abstained

Expert on internal affairs of the ruling Social Democratic Party of Germany in Germany (SPD) Sebastian Hartmann (Sebastian Hartmann) called the goal of the reform to provide “simple and understandable suffrage.” At the same time, the opposition represented by the conservative blocCDU/CSU And left party are extremely negative about the reform. They believe that this reform infringes on their interests, and intend to file complaints with the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany.

So, chairman of the land group Christian Social Union (CSU) in the Bundestag, Alexander Dobrindt (Alexander Dobrindt) expressed the opinion that the reform is carried out in order to expel the left from parliament and call into question the “right of the CSU to exist.” “They are carrying out this reform for themselves, in order to cement the claims of the” traffic light coalition “(Social Democrats, Free Democrats and Greens. – Ed.) to power,” Dobrindt said.

Additional and equalizing mandates

the German Parliament, which, according to Basic law of Germany, should have 598 seats, was constantly growing due to the presence of the so-called additional and equalizing mandates. Every voter in Germany has two votes in elections. Half of the 598 seats in parliament are distributed according to the votes cast for specific people – direct candidates in the constituencies, and the other half – according to the votes cast for the land party lists.

At the same time, it happens every now and then that parties can nominate more direct candidates for parliament than they are entitled to according to the results of voting for party lists. In this case, the number of seats in the Bundestag increases, because these parties receive additional mandates. But then the rest of the parties that entered the parliament receive equalizing mandates as compensation.

This practice led to the fact that the number of people’s deputies grew from time to time and the German Bundestag eventually became the largest national parliament in Europe. According to the bill adopted by the Bundestag on March 17, there will be no more additional and equalizing mandates.

Five Percent Barrier

In addition, only parties that have overcome the 5% barrier in the elections will be able to enter parliament. The rule that was in force until now, which allowed parties to win at least three direct mandates in constituencies, to send their representatives to the Bundestag, is cancelled. It is thanks to this rule that deputies from the Left Party sit in the parliament of the current convocation, which received three direct mandates in the elections in 2021, but did not overcome the 5% barrier.

See also:

The largest, female and youngest: the new Bundestag

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