Bundestag President Bas calls for further electoral law reform
Nfter the resolution of the controversial electoral law reform, the President of the Bundestag demands Baerbel Bas (SPD) further changes. Among other things, gender parity in the Bundestag should be ensured, Bas told the newspapers of the Funke media group.
“My personal wish is to put together another package on electoral rights in this electoral term,” said Bas. This could include “in addition to parity in the Bundestag, the right to vote from the age of 16 and an extension of the legislative period from four to five years”.
Bas referred to the current proportion of women in the Bundestag of almost 35 percent. “We have to find a constitutional way how we can achieve the 50:50 at least when the parties nominate candidates.” She hopes “that we will also make a decision on this by the end of the legislative period”.
The issues raised by Bas are discussed in the Electoral Law Commission set up by the Bundestag. Their final report is due at the end of June.
The union is against it
The question of parity is considered to be legally complex. In Thuringia and Brandenburg, the state parliaments decided a few years ago that lists for state elections must be filled alternately with men and women – both laws failed in the state constitutional courts.
The parliamentary manager of the Union faction, Thorsten Frei (CDU), referring to Bas in his reply. Bas’ statements are “highly irritating,” he told the Funke newspapers. “When it came to the electoral law reform, Ms. Bas initially watched in silence as the traffic light coalition pushed through their controversial demands with all their might, and now she comes around the corner with proposals that have already been rejected by two state constitutional courts.”
The Union, like the left, rejects the law passed on Friday electoral reform and has announced a constitutional complaint. Schleswig-Holstein’s Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU) also sees his party’s omissions on the issue: “In his opinion, the CDU and especially the CSU” would have been “better advised if they had implemented a far-reaching electoral law reform in the past legislative period,” said he the editorial network Germany.
The reform passed on Friday sets the size of the Bundestag at 630 MPs. Since the second vote is given more weight, it can happen that constituency winners do not move into parliament. The basic mandate clause was also overturned. This allows a party to enter parliament with less than five percent of the second votes in parliamentary group size, provided it wins at least three direct mandates.
The CSU has meanwhile 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.