Capping Bundestag seats: constitutional or not?

The electoral law reform, with a limitation on the number of deputies, is in accordance with the constitution, at least according to two experts on constitutional law. The SPD had commissioned the expert reports. In his report, the Berlin law professor Ulrich Battis wrote that equality of choice and equal opportunities were not called into question by the limitation of seats. The rules of proportionality still apply. Above all, the Bundestag’s ability to work should be guaranteed.

Düsseldorf law professor Sophie Schönberger reached a similar conclusion. The vote of every citizen entitled to vote would continue to have the same count after to the proposal of the SPD had been implemented to cut the mandates at an upper limit of 690 seats. “Overhang mandates” are to be cut according to this model. The Federal Ministry of the Interior, however, considers this to be technically non-constitutional. Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) said that the count of votes would be “zero” in an affected constituency. In contrast, the two experts commissioned by the SPD emphasize the functionality of the Bundestag.

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