CSU party leader Markus Söder has announced bitter resistance to the traffic light coalition's proposals for downsizing the Bundestag. The CSU will take action against this “up to the last second,” said Söder after a meeting of the party executive on Monday in Munich. If necessary, there will be a constitutional complaint. According to participants in the meeting, the head of the CSU state group in the Bundestag also emphasized: "The proposal cannot be approved in this way."
"The MPs are no longer elected, they are assigned," said Söder. But the motto must apply: "Democrats before bureaucrats!". The traffic light government has increased the number of highly paid civil servants in the Bundestag and has also received criticism from the taxpayers' association. Instead, elected parliamentarians should no longer be able to move in. "You don't play with the right to vote," said the Bavarian Prime Minister. "We consider many points to be constitutionally questionable."
Czaja: Union loses disproportionately seats
The CDU leadership also accused the traffic light coalition of deliberately wanting to harm the Union with its revised plans for an electoral reform to downsize the Bundestag. According to the current reform plans, the Union will lose mandates disproportionately, said CDU General Secretary Mario Czaja after meetings of his party's top committees in Berlin. He spoke of a "suffrage clearly at the expense of the constituency winners". Since the CDU has won most constituencies in the past, it is a reform "that is deliberately made at the expense of the Union".
After the Bundestag decision expected at the end of the week, the exact changes to the electoral law will be looked at, said Czaja. After that, the Union faction will decide on a norm control procedure in Karlsruhe. The CDU also wanted the Bundestag to be reduced in size, and they were still willing to compromise. However, it is a one-off process that the constituency vote "should no longer have any permanent value, but should be allocated". Anyone who wins a constituency must also be able to be a member of the Bundestag. Everything else contradicts democratic principles. Therefore, the Union could not agree to such a reform.
Czaja accused the SPD of having withdrawn a proposal to reduce the constituencies out of consideration for two prominent MPs. This affects Bundestag President Bärbel Bas and SPD leader Lars Klingbeil. "Both would have been affected by this reform. A rogue who thinks ill of it," said Czaja.
On Sunday it became known that the traffic light factions had finally agreed on an electoral law reform, which should be decided by the Bundestag by the end of the week. It provides for a reduction in the Bundestag from 736 to a permanent 630 MPs after the next election in 2025. This means that Parliament will not shrink quite as much as originally planned by the traffic light.
Criticism also from the left
Left parliamentary group manager Jan Korte accused the SPD, Greens and FDP of "shabby" action against political opponents. "This proposal is aimed solely against the left-wing opposition, which is being tried to flatten politically with the right to vote."
The left has a problem with one point of the reform plan - which even has an existential meaning for them. The traffic light wants to delete the so-called basic mandate clause, without which the left would not be in the Bundestag today. This clause ensures that parties that receive less than five percent of the second votes can also enter parliament. You have to win three direct mandates via the first votes.
The left managed to do that in 2021 and entered parliament with a total of 39 MPs, although they had only achieved 4.9 percent of the second votes. Group manager Korte now sees the abolition of the clause as a targeted attack on his group. "With the deletion of the democratically sensible basic mandate clause, the traffic light parties of the AfD are fulfilling a great wish" - the ousting of the left from the Bundestag, he told dpa.