Electing the 20th Bundestag

German Parliament

The world will change on September 26th, 2021 when Chancellor Angela Merkel steps down and someone else will take her place. Besides the German Federal Election, state elections in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will also be held and the Hon. Merkel has decided to not run in her riding again, after a 4th term over a 15-year period.

To quote CNN “Even her staunchest critics admit that Merkel has special powers when it comes to handling crises, having seen Germany through the global financial crisis, the Eurozone debt crisis, and the immigration crisis; with months to go before she steps down, she remains at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.”

So who is next? Thanks to a “flood zone gaffe”, Armin Lauschet

Here are the main candidates:

  1. Armin Lauschet – CDU/CSU (coalition)
    60-year-old premier for North Rhine-Westphalia
    Christian Democrats (party of long-term Chancellor Angela Merkel)
  2. Olaf Scholz – SPD
    German politician serving as federal minister of Finance and vice chancellor under chancellor Angela Merkel since 14 March 2018.
    Social Democrats – official centre-left opposition party
  3. Alice Weidel & Tino Chrupalla – AFD
    Since 2019, Alice Weidel has been the deputy federal spokeswoman and Feb 2020, chairwoman of the AfD state association in Baden-Württemberg
    Tino Chrupalla is a German politician, and Member of the Bundestag since 2017
    Alternativ für Deutschland – right wing party
  4. Christian Lindner – FDP
    Christian Wolfgang Lindner is a German politician, member of the Bundestag, and leader of the liberal Free Democratic Party of Germany
    Free Democratic Party – centre left
  5. Janine Wissler & Susanne Hennig-Wellsow – Left
    Janine Wissler is a German politician who has been co-chairwoman of The Left since 2021
    Susanne Hennig-Wellsow is a German politician who has been federal co-chairwoman of The Left since 2021
    Die Linke
  6. Annalena Baerbock – Green
    Annalena Charlotte Alma Baerbock is a German politician. She has served as co-leader of Alliance 90/The Greens since 2018 alongside Robert Habeck. She is also its Chancellor candidate in the 2021 federal election, being considered the first such candidate for the Greens.
    Die Grünen

The Next President of Germany – Yes, they have one!

There will also be an election of the next President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, no later than February 16, 2022. The current President is planning to run for one more 5-year term. This will be officially known as The 17th Federal Convention.

What Happens Next?

German citizens will go to the polls to elect the Bundestag, the lower house, in which they are represented by both a local MP and members assigned at the state level to assure proportionality by party. According to the Deutsche Welle “Germany has a notoriously complex voting system for electing its Bundestag” –

The first vote or “Erststimme” for the district representative, follows a first-past-the-post system like elections in the USA. The voter selects his or her favorite candidate to represent their district in the parliament. Every candidate who wins one of Germany’s 299 constituencies — one constituency for 250,000 inhabitants — is guaranteed a seat. Independent candidates can also run – if they have gathered at least 200 signatures from supporters. To fill the other half of the 598 seats in Germany’s Bundestag, voters cast their ballots in the second vote or “Zweitstimme.” This vote goes to a political party instead of a single candidate. It also determines the percentage each political party gets in the Bundestag.

To learn more about how the elections in Germany work, please visit the DW “https://www.dw.com/en/german-election-process/a-37805756

How to Sign Up to Vote in Canada

Only persons listed in a voters’ register may vote. Germans staying abroad who do not have a registered domicile in Germany are called German expatriates. They are not automatically entered into a voters’ register. If German expatriates wish to participate in Bundestag elections, they have to submit a written application for entry into the voters’ register before each election.

Printed application forms are available from the diplomatic and full-time consular missions of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad, from the constituency returning officers in the Federal Republic of Germany and from the

Bundeswahlleiter (Federal Returning Officer)
Statistisches Bundesamt
Zweigstelle Bonn
Postfach 17 03 77
53029 Bonn
Germany

Visit this site to learn more and to get access to online forms from the Federal Returning Officer (https://www.bundeswahlleiter.de).

They may also be obtained from:

– the diplomatic missions and career consular posts of the Federal Republic of Germany,

– the Bundeswahlleiter (Federal Returning Officer) at the following address: Statistisches Bundesamt, Zweigstelle Bonn, Postfach 17 03 77, 53029 BONN, GERMANY, or by email: bundeswahlleiter-bonn@destatis.de,

– district returning officers in the Federal Republic of Germany.

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