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Bundestag to Decide About Election Rerun in Berlin

The election drama in the city state of Berlin is going into its next round. On Friday, the Bundestag is supposed to decide about the number of electoral districts that will be affected by a planned election rerun. But this is only part of a big issue with possible implications for elected MPs and officials.

Berlin, November 8th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — Later this week, the Bundestag in Berlin (as in capital of the Federal Republic of Germany) was going to decide whether the last general elections will be repeated in 327 of 2,256 of Berlin’s (as in federal state) electoral districts and 104 postal ballot districts. This is what the parliament’s Election Inquiry Commission just proposed.

Composition of Parliament

Once the Bundestag approves this proposal, which it probably will, the question when the election rerun might take place will still be open. Not only would the rerun have to be organized properly, but it might have to be confirmed by the Federal Constitutional Court first, which would take time. The partial repetition of the elections could have consequences for the composition of parliament.

Two elections might have to be repeated in Berlin. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

The next problem : Berlin’s state elections, which took place on the same day as the general elections for the Bundestag, on September 26th, 2021, likely needs to be repeated as well. In this case, the endeavor has the potential to change absolutely everything, including the name of Berlin’s Governing Mayor. The election rerun on the state level would not be limited to certain electoral districts.

Consequences of a Chaos

Things have changed since election day, including the voters’ preferences. According to the latest polls, both the conservative CDU and the left-wing Greens, one of Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey’s junior partners in her government coalition, are stronger than her center-left SPD right now. It is unclear whether Mrs. Giffey will manage to turn the tide on time, as she did just before election day in September of 2021.

Those two election reruns, for both the Bundestag elections and the state elections in Berlin, are the consequences of a chaos on September 26th, 2021. On Super Sunday, Berlin looked more like the capital of a banana republic than that of a democratic, western European country, in the sense that nothing really worked properly. In many cases, the wrong ballots weibility re delivered to polling stations. The right ones could not be delivered on time because of the Berlin Marathon which took place on the same day. The entire city was blocked to motorized traffic. And even if they had delivered ballots on mules, they would not have gotten there on time.

Legally Challenged

The two election reruns will likely take place on different dates. Once Berlin’s Constitutional Court decides whether the state elections actually have to be repeated (which it probably will), they have to take place within 90 days, meaning until February, unless they are legally challenged. According to an assessment by Berlin’s Senate Administration of the Interior, this scenario is a possibility, meaning the whole thing might have to take place later. The possibility of a legal challenge applies to the rerun of the Bundestag elections in those Berlin election districts too.

Who will be Governing Mayor when all of this is over? Photo: Imanuel Marcus

On September 26th, 2021, Berliners did not only vote for the Bundestag (one primary and one secondary vote for everyone) and the Berlin House of Representatives (primary and secondary votes), but also for the city’s twelve district parliaments. On top of it all, there was a referendum about the dispossession of large real estate companies.

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