Karlsruhe (dpa) – A reformed electoral law should come into effect in general elections in just over six weeks – if the FDP, left and Greens don’t prevent it.
The three opposition parties oppose the changes decided only by the grand coalition and have made an urgent application in Karlsruhe. The Federal Constitutional Court has now decided: The decision will be published today (9:30 am). (Az. 2 BvF 1/21)
In principle, there is agreement that the Bundestag, which has now grown to 709 seats, should be made smaller again. A large parliament not only costs taxpayers more money, it can also work less well. But the right way to get there has been debated for years. A compromise solution, which all parties wanted to support, had not been reached in two electoral terms.
In October 2020, the Union and the SPD finally single-handedly decided to change the electoral law, which many experts also believe is inadequate. Because it has to stay with the current 299 constituencies. A major reform is only planned for the elections of 2025. A committee should make proposals for this in mid-2023.
Purpose of the alternative design
The FDP, the left and the Greens had jointly submitted an alternative draft that only envisaged 250 constituencies but failed to win. You have now also joined forces to overturn the black-and-red reform in Karlsruhe and have applied for an abstract standard revision. The main proceedings, in which the constitutional judges thoroughly examine the law, are still pending. Only on the urgent request will be decided.
With this, the opposition parties want to ensure that the amended regulations cannot be applied in the elections on September 26. In their view, the old law would then simply apply again. The three parties do not only criticize the fact that the changes are not having enough effect. They are also not clear and would also benefit the Union.
The outcome has no direct influence on the votes of the citizens. It concerns the rules according to which the votes cast are converted into mandates.
Under the new regulation, a party’s overhang mandates are partially offset against their list mandates. Up to three overhang mandates are not offset by compensatory mandates if the Bundestag exceeds its target size. This is fixed at 598 seats.