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Friday, March 31, 2023

Bundestag: CSU files constitutional complaint against electoral law reform

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The Bundestag will soon be limited to 630 MPs. The traffic light parties pushed this through in the Bundestag yesterday. The CSU is outraged – and announces a constitutional complaint.

One day after the Bundestag decision on the electoral law reform, the CSU decided to file a constitutional complaint. The decision in a switch of the CSU board on Saturday was made unanimously, as reported by participants. The constitutional complaint – like a lawsuit by the Bavarian state government – should be filed before the summer break, announced CSU boss and Prime Minister Markus Söder.

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The traffic light parties SPD, Greens and FDP pushed through the electoral law reform on Friday with their majority in the Bundestag – against the bitter resistance of the CSU and the Left Party in particular.

From 736 to 630 mandates

With the reform, the Bundestag, which has grown to 736 MPs, is to be permanently reduced to 630 seats from the next election in 2025. This is to be achieved by dispensing with overhang and compensation mandates. So far, these have caused the Bundestag to become increasingly bloated. According to the new rules, it could happen in the future that an applicant wins his constituency directly, but still does not get into the Bundestag. This angers the CSU in particular.

In addition, a strict five percent clause should apply. The so-called basic mandate clause does not apply. So far, it has ensured that parties with the strength of their second vote result in the Bundestag also entered the Bundestag if they were less than five percent but won at least three direct mandates. The Left Party benefited from this in 2021. Depending on the election result, the omission of the clause could also have consequences for the CSU, whose direct candidates traditionally win most constituencies in Bavaria. Should it fall below five percent nationwide, it would be kicked out of the Bundestag.

Söder: Attack on democracy

“This is an attack on democracy and federalism,” said Söder after the CSU board switch. “On democracy, because directly elected members of parliament will no longer sit in the German Bundestag, that will then be decided by some other committee. And on federalism, because entire regions like Bavaria may no longer be there.” Söder criticized that the traffic light parties are not concerned with reducing the size of the Bundestag, but with weakening the opposition and Bavaria. Almost nine million votes could be “rationalized away,” he argued — a deep violation of the principles of state and federalism. And the CSU is basically “denied the right to exist”.

Source: Stern

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