After the decision of the controversial electoral reform, Bundestag President Bärbel Bas (SPD) calls for further changes. Among other things, gender parity should be ensured in the Bundestag, Bas told the newspapers of the Funke media group.
"My personal wish is to put together a package on the right to vote in this parliamentary term," Bas said. 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 just under 35 percent. "We have to find a constitutional way to achieve the 50:50 at least in the candidate line-up by the parties." She hoped "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 appointed by the Bundestag. Their final report is due at the end of June.
The Union is against it.
The question of parity is considered legally complex. In Thuringia and Brandenburg, the state parliaments decided a few years ago that lists for the state elections must be filled alternately with men and women – both laws failed before the state constitutional courts.
The parliamentary secretary of the Union parliamentary group, Thorsten Frei (CDU), referred to this in his answer to Bas. Bas' statements were "highly irritating," he told the Funke newspapers. "In the case of electoral reform, Ms. Bas initially watched in silence as the traffic light coalition pushed through its controversial demands with all its might, and now she comes around the corner with proposals that have already been rejected by two state constitutional courts."
Like the Left Party, the CDU/CSU rejects the electoral reform adopted on Friday and has announced a constitutional complaint. Schleswig-Holstein's Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU), however, also sees failures of his party in the question: "The CDU and in particular the CSU" would have been "better advised if they had implemented a far-reaching electoral reform in the last legislative period," he told the editorial network Germany.
The reform adopted on Friday sets the size of the Bundestag at 630 deputies. Since the second vote is given more weight, it may happen that constituency winners do not enter 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 group strength, provided that it wins at least three direct mandates.
Meanwhile, the CSU has decided to lodge a constitutional complaint. The decision in a switch of the CSU board on Saturday was unanimous, as reported by participants. The constitutional complaint should be filed – as well as a complaint by the Bavarian state government – before the summer break, announced CSU leader and Prime Minister Markus Söder.