Germany Elects Parliament Today
The Germans vote for a new parliament today. The elections are held in a complex system combining direct vote and a proportional vote, the world news agencies have said.
Each of the 61.5 million voters has two votes to elect MPs in the Bundestag. The minimum number of seats should be 598 people. Half of them go to candidates selected from party lists. The minimum threshold is 5% of the vote. The other half of the seats are for candidates elected by the 299 constituencies, where the principle of a selected candidate from the county is in force. The winner is the candidate who has achieved the best score, whether or not he has received 50%.
The number of MPs in the newly-elected parliament is determined by complex calculations. In the current parliament, the deputies were 613, and according to estimates in the new one could reach 700. Attempts to impose a ceiling on this number have so far failed. For decades, the German electoral system has not produced an absolute majority for a party. The country has no tradition of forming minority governments, so the next government will be inevitably a coalition.
The election day begins at 8.00 and ends at 18.00 local time. Recent public opinion polls show that the conservative Bloc Christian-Democratic Union of Angela Merkel will receive 36%. The German Social Democratic Party (GSPD) will receive 21.5%, and an alternative to Germany, defined as a populist and anti-immigrant, will get 11%. Liberals from the Free Democratic Party will receive 10%, Lefts - 8.5%, and Greens - 8%.
In the current election, 4800 candidates are taking part. Of these, 29% are women. The average age of the candidates is 47 years, the youngest is 18, and the oldest is 89-year-old German actress and publicist, author of children's and gourmet books and political figure Barbara Rutting. There are 42 parties in the election, with 16 of them taking part for the first time.
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