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Bundestag: Bartsch: electoral reform is a brutal attack on the left

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The Bundestag is full to bursting – an electoral law reform to reduce the size has been debated for years. But the present draft law indignant the left. The CSU is also considering going to Karlsruhe.

Dietmar Bartsch, leader of the Left parliamentary group, has described the traffic light coalition’s planned electoral law reform as a “brutal attack on the left” and has announced that he will file a lawsuit with the Federal Constitutional Court. “One wants to prevent left-wing criticism of the traffic light, especially red-green want that,” said Bartsch on Tuesday the broadcasters RTL / ntv.

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On Sunday it became known that the traffic light factions had finally agreed on an electoral law reform, which should be decided by the Bundestag by the end of the week. It provides for a reduction in the Bundestag from 736 to a permanent 630 MPs after the next election in 2025. In addition to the overhang and equalization mandates, the so-called basic mandate clause is to be deleted, according to which parties can also enter the Bundestag in fraction strength if they receive less than five percent of the second votes. To do this, they must win at least three direct mandates via the first votes. That was true of the left in the 2021 election.

Karlsruhe should clarify it

The basic mandate clause was still included in the draft law three weeks ago, but suddenly it was deleted, said Bartsch. This is a brutal attack, against which one will defend oneself. “I say very clearly: We will also try the Federal Constitutional Court.” Everything will be tried to ensure that this law does not become reality – ultimately it is an attack on democracy.

Criticism also came from within the Union. The CSU in particular would be severely affected by the new regulation. Traditionally, the Bavarian regional party wins almost all of the possible direct mandates in the Free State. At the federal level, however, the CSU only achieves a single-digit percentage. If only the nationwide second vote result were used to calculate the number of mandates, some CSU parliamentarians would be blocked from entering the Bundestag. CSU party leader Markus Söder has already announced bitter resistance – if necessary with a constitutional complaint.

CSU regional group leader Dobrinth also spoke out in favor of having the plans of the traffic light coalition reviewed by the constitutional court in Karlsruhe. The plans expressly concern the opposition in the Bundestag, “so the traffic light carves a right to vote,” Dobrindt criticized on Tuesday in Berlin. They share the goal of downsizing the Bundestag. The means of the traffic light is “simply disrespectful and unfair and must therefore be checked by the constitutional court from our point of view”.

New top talks with Union unsuccessful

Meanwhile, new compromise negotiations between the traffic light coalition and the opposition remained unsuccessful. SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich approached the Union parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz (CDU), but a conversation on Monday afternoon was unsuccessful, the parliamentary manager of the CDU/CSU MPs in the Bundestag, Thorsten Frei (CDU), made clear on Tuesday in Berlin.

The traffic light representatives were never willing to talk fundamentally about their model and to talk about a third way, criticized Frei. They were only willing to negotiate on the basis of their model. The essential point for the Union, that there would be a number of unassigned constituencies in the traffic light plans and highly competitive constituencies would not be directly represented in the Bundestag, was reason enough to reject the model.

The Union faction will only deal with the question of an abstract lawsuit in Karlsruhe after the Bundestag decision, said Frei. A quarter of the members of the Bundestag or a state government could initiate such a lawsuit. This requires a valid law. However, he thinks it is very likely that there will be a lawsuit, said Frei, referring to the CSU and the Bavarian state government it leads.

Source: Stern

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