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Bundestag votes on electoral law reform on Friday – Dobrindt for constitutional complaint

The Bundestag is to decide on the electoral law reform of the traffic light coalition on Friday.

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Bundestag votes on electoral law reform on Friday – Dobrindt for constitutional complaint

The Bundestag is to decide on the electoral law reform of the traffic light coalition on Friday. The SPD, Greens and FDP only agreed on far-reaching changes to the draft law at the weekend. According to the Bundestag press office on Tuesday, the vote has now been put on the agenda for Friday morning.

CSU regional group chief Alexander Dobrindt spoke out in favor of having the plans 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 in our view," said Dobrindt. At the same time, the Union remains willing to talk.

As a result, Dobrindt criticized the traffic light procedure as damaging to the democratic culture and the cooperation between the parties in the Bundestag. In addition, this will contribute significantly to disenchantment with politics. It is inexplicable that one calls for an election, but in the end the winner does not move into the Bundestag.

A deletion of the basic mandate clause is a threat to the federal principle and a disregard for the principle of federalism, which can be found in the Basic Law. The basic mandate clause is “an essential part of a federal principle”, without which the CSU will not agree to the plans.

The traffic light plans envisage 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, according to which parties can also enter the Bundestag in parliamentary group strength if they receive less than five percent of the second votes, will be deleted. To do this, they must win at least three direct mandates via the first votes.

The Left Party, which received only 4.9 percent of the second votes and is still represented in the Bundestag, is benefiting from this in the current legislative period. The CSU, which only competes in Bavaria and achieved a two-vote share of 5.2 percent in the last federal election, could also be dependent on the clause if it received less than five percent of the second votes nationwide.

Dietmar Bartsch, the head of the Left parliamentary group, described the traffic light coalition's planned electoral law reform as a "brutal attack on the left" and announced that he would 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.

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 to get the Federal Constitutional Court involved." Everything will be tried to ensure that this law does not become reality - ultimately it is an attack on democracy.

FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr defended against the sharp criticism, especially from the Union. The coalition's revised draft law provides for a limit of 630 MPs instead of the previous 598 - that's a "significant step towards the Union," said Dürr. He would wish “that the Union would also move. Always saying no is not an option when it comes to voting rights.”

SPD faction leader Rolf Mützenich also defended the traffic light plans. In a letter to the Social Democratic MPs in the Bundestag, he accuses the Union of having blocked a reform of the electoral law in the past legislative periods.

"Today we have the opportunity to take the decisive step without being held up by the interests of a party that is only up for election in one federal state," the letter continues - an announcement in the direction of the CSU. Party leader Markus Söder had already threatened to challenge the reform before the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe.

Mützenich justified the deletion of the basic mandate clause with possible lawsuits against it. "The public hearing has shown that the basic mandate clause is already an element that cannot be justified either under constitutional or electoral law," he wrote to the SPD MPs. "It represents a breach of the system because it gives the wrong impression of a personal election, even though the federal election is a proportional representation. This is even more important in the new electoral system and can serve as a gateway for a successful complaint against the law before the Federal Constitutional Court.”

"Kick-off Politics" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, among others, or directly via RSS feed.

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