Bundestag: Controversy over electoral law reform - Union ready to talk

The draft law by the three traffic light factions for an electoral law reform to reduce the size of the Bundestag has met with massive resistance from the Union.

Bundestag: Controversy over electoral law reform - Union ready to talk

The draft law by the three traffic light factions for an electoral law reform to reduce the size of the Bundestag has met with massive resistance from the Union. The CDU and CSU consider it unconstitutional and not capable of approval, as parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz and CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt made clear.

They signaled a willingness to talk, but more or less clearly threatened to appeal to the Federal Constitutional Court if the SPD, Greens and FDP passed the law alone in the Bundestag. Interest in a joint solution was also expressed from the ranks of the traffic light.

No more overhang and compensation mandates

Above all, the Union criticizes the fact that, according to the draft law, there should no longer be any overhang or compensation mandates, which can result in direct candidates elected with the first vote not getting a seat in the Bundestag. The result of such a regulation would be that the Bundestag would shrink from its current mammoth size of 736 MPs back to its normal size of 598 MPs.

"We consider such a proposal unacceptable," said Merz. If an applicant has won a constituency, the mandate in the Bundestag must also be transferred to him. This regulation is not compatible with the principle of democracy, criticized Dobrindt, who announced in the event of the law being passed with the traffic light majority: "A law that so blatantly disregards the will of the voters must ultimately end up before the constitutional court."

Johannes Vogel, the first parliamentary director of the FDP parliamentary group, emphasized in Berlin that you can talk about everything, but it is not an option that it stays with an XXL Bundestag. "We must finally show as a parliament that we are capable of reforming ourselves." Three parameters must be met: The Bundestag must be smaller. Personalized proportional representation must be preserved. And a fair proposal would have to reduce all fractions proportionally and roughly equally. The Union itself has not submitted anything in this regard.

Merz: Not with the current right to vote in the next election

Merz also said before a meeting of the Union faction that the Bundestag must be quickly and significantly reduced in size. "There is no way we can go into the next federal election with the current electoral law." In a letter to the parliamentary group leaders of the SPD, Greens and FDP, Merz and Dobrindt criticized that the traffic light proposal represented a "one-off break with the system of personalized proportional representation". At the same time, they assured that the Union was "nevertheless and still seriously ready" to talk about further action and a reform of the electoral law with the aim of limiting the Bundestag to 598 mandates.

The Union - and here especially the CSU - had prevented an effective electoral law reform in the past two electoral periods because they benefited the most from the existing regulations. This would also be the case with their proposal, which they made in the electoral law commission set up by the Bundestag.

Association of Taxpayers: "Amendment to the federal election law overdue"

The President of the Taxpayers' Association, Reiner Holznagel, appealed to the leaders of the parliamentary group to come to a joint solution with a limit of 598 seats. "The right to vote must be supported by a broad political and social conviction," says a letter available to the dpa. "An amendment to the federal election law is overdue." The ever-growing Bundestag is frustrating voters, making parliamentary work more difficult and leading to significant additional costs.

The AfD in the Bundestag would agree to the traffic light bill. According to the MP Albrecht Glaser, who is responsible for the topic, the plans correspond to proposals that the AfD had previously submitted. Glaser accused the traffic light of "total plagiarism". "Of course, the model will have our votes," he said.

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