Perhaps the Union was still hoping that the traffic light would not bring about the majority needed for its electoral reform. According to votes in the SPD, Greens and FDP parliamentary groups, this is unlikely. The Union is already announcing the next step.
The traffic light coalition is expected to pass the electoral law reform, which has been strictly rejected by the Union and the Left Party, with its own majority on Friday in the Bundestag. When voting in the parliamentary groups on Tuesday afternoon, the members of the Greens and FDP agreed unanimously and those of the SPD with an overwhelming majority. This was announced by the parliamentary group leaders Rolf Mützenich (SPD), Britta Haßelmann (Greens) and Christian Dürr (FDP). Union and left announced constitutional lawsuits against the reform.
As a result of the reform, the Bundestag, which has grown to 736 members, will again be reduced to 630 seats in the next election. The key point is that there will no longer be any overhang or compensation mandates in the future. The so-called basic mandate clause will also be deleted. It has the effect that a party also enters the Bundestag based on its second vote result if it has missed the five percent hurdle but has won at least three direct mandates.
Group leaders call reform “fair and constitutional”
In this way, the left would not be represented in the Bundestag today because it only got 4.9 percent of the second votes in the 2021 federal election. The CSU came in at 5.2 percent nationwide, which was historically poor. If it had slipped below the five percent hurdle, it would not have gotten any of the 45 direct mandates it had won under the new model.
The Ampel parliamentary group leaders unanimously called the reform “fair and constitutional” and made it clear that they were relaxed about a review by the Federal Constitutional Court. At the same time, they appealed to the Union to agree to the reform after all.
However, this is unlikely. Union faction leader Friedrich Merz said in Berlin that if there were to be a majority in favor of the plans in the Bundestag, “in my view, a constitutional review is indeed necessary”. He will propose to his group to reject the plans on Friday. In the event of a corresponding decision in the Bundestag, the Union faction will make a decision on a possible lawsuit in the next week of meetings at the end of March, announced the CDU chairman.
Söder fears the influence of the CSU
CSU party leader Markus Söder even sees the existence of his party in question with the draft of the traffic light coalition for a new federal electoral law. The draft, which is to be decided by the Bundestag on Friday, is “a big dog,” he said in Munich. Söder also 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,” said Dietmar Bartsch, the leader of the left parliamentary group, on the RTL/ntv channels. Everything will be tried to ensure that this law does not become reality – ultimately this is an attack on democracy.
“I’m very happy that on Friday we’ll deliver on what we promised the citizens,” said Mützenich. “We have the strength to initiate a reform of the electoral law, a reform of ourselves,” said Hasselmann. This is particularly important in these times of crisis, when politics demands a lot from people. With a view to the shrinking Bundestag, Dürr assured: “All parliamentary groups in the House are contributing equally to this downsizing.”
The traffic light representatives reported that even on Monday evening they were still trying to find an agreement with the democratic opposition. Unfortunately this was not successful.
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