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Thursday, March 23, 2023

House of Representatives: Officially: SPD only with 53 votes ahead of the Greens

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Now there is clarity: the CDU wins the election. And the SPD saved second place with a wafer-thin lead over the Greens. The incumbent Prime Minister Giffey could remain in the town hall.

It could hardly be tighter: After the repeat elections in Berlin, the SPD finally defended second place in front of the Greens – with a lead of just 53 votes. The clear winner is the CDU. This emerges from the final result, which the state election committee determined.

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The razor-thin lead could mean that Prime Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD), who has been in office since December 2021, can remain in City Hall if the previous coalition of SPD, Greens and Left continues. Because the SPD would be the strongest party in this constellation – even if only with a lead of 53 votes.

But there are other options for forming a government. CDU election winner Kai Wegner wants to form a coalition with the SPD or the Greens. It is still unclear who will enter into coalition negotiations with whom.

Since February 17, the parties have been exploring in various formats whether there is a basis for coalition negotiations and a joint government. And these exploratory talks are not over yet.

Today the SPD, the Greens and the Left were exploring for the third time. On Tuesday, the CDU and the Greens will meet for their third meeting. From the middle of the week, the party committees can be expected to make decisions about which potential partners they want to negotiate an alliance with.

FDP not in parliament

According to the final result, the CDU clearly won the election on February 12 with 28.2 percent. SPD and Greens each got 18.4 percent. The left came to 12.2 percent in the election, the AfD to 9.1 percent. The FDP missed the re-entry into parliament with 4.6 percent.

This did not change anything in terms of the vote shares of the parties and the allocation of seats provisionally determined shortly after the election. The new state parliament has 159 members. The CDU has 52 seats, the SPD and the Greens each have 34 seats. The Left has 22 seats and the AfD has 17 seats. Voter turnout was corrected from originally 63.0 to 62.9 percent.

The Berlin Constitutional Court declared the election to the House of Representatives on September 26, 2021 invalid due to “severe systemic deficiencies” and numerous electoral errors. At the same time, he ordered a complete replay.

According to the preliminary result of this new vote, the SPD had a mini lead over the Greens by 105 votes – with around 279,000 second votes for both parties. Even this narrow gap had fueled speculation that the Greens could still get ahead of the Social Democrats as a result of the usual post-election results review and partial recounts.

But that is not the case now. The SPD’s shrunken lead has no influence on the ongoing formation of a government, said Greens’ top candidate Bettina Jarasch on the final result, the draft of which had already become known at the weekend after research by “Bild am Sonntag”. The figures, which are now completely official, bring a little more clarity to the process of forming a government.

“Berlin can vote”

State Returning Officer Stephan Bröchler drew a positive balance of the renewed ballot. “The implementation of the first repeat election was a success,” he said at the meeting of the election committee. “We have regained trust in democracy,” said Bröchler. “Berlin can vote.”

But that’s no reason to sit back and relax. “We have to get better and learn from mistakes.” It is now necessary to tackle structural reforms, such as setting up a state electoral office and strengthening the role of the state returning officer.

The state election committee also dealt with a very narrow first vote result in a constituency in the district of Lichtenberg. However, he mostly rejected a recount demanded by left-wing representatives. It remains there with the victory of the CDU direct candidate Dennis Haustein with ten votes ahead of the next-placed left candidate Claudia Engelmann. The Lichtenberg district had made headlines because 466 ballot letters from postal voters were initially left behind on election day. They were counted afterwards and thus included in the election result.

Source: Stern

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