Urgent motion against electoral reform rejected | free press


Karlsruhe (dpa) – Federal elections on September 26 can take place under the electoral law recently enacted by the Union and the SPD.

The Federal Constitutional Court rejected an urgent motion by the FDP, Greens and Left MPs to reverse the changes that took effect in November 2020 with immediate effect. As the court in Karlsruhe announced on Friday, it intends to carefully examine the reform in the main proceedings. The judges can see problematic points.

The parties broadly agree that the Bundestag, which has 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.

The FDP, the left and the Greens had jointly submitted an alternative draft that only envisaged 250 constituencies but failed to win. They then came together to submit an application for abstract code checking in Karlsruhe. You believe that the new regulation is unclearly worded and contrary to the constitutional principles of equal opportunities for parties and equal voting rights.

The constitutional judges of the Lower House consider it possible that these objections are not unjustified. As the questions remain to be examined further, they refused to interfere with the legislator’s powers with immediate effect. It also played a role that in their view the reform will not bring about major changes.

The Karlsruhe procedure and the now published urgent decision of 20 July have no direct influence on the citizens’ vote. 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.