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After breakdowns in several districts: the court tends to repeat the Berlin election

After breakdowns in several districts
Court tends to repeat the Berlin election

In the election to the Berlin House of Representatives last year, there were numerous electoral errors. A hearing before the Berlin Constitutional Court is now to decide whether the election must be repeated. The signs of this are growing.

Around a year after the Berlin House of Representatives elections, the hearing on the objections to the election results began at the Berlin Constitutional Court. Already at the beginning of the hearing it became clear: the Berlin Constitutional Court is tending towards a complete repetition of the House of Representatives elections from September. This is the only way “a constitutional result” can be produced, said court president Ludgera Selting.

The objections to the election results were discussed. There had been “a large number of electoral errors” that were also relevant to the mandate. You can see the mandate relevance for the second vote in all 78 constituencies, said Selting in the first legal assessment she presented. The electoral errors therefore had an impact on the distribution of seats in Parliament. Against this background, the court could declare the election invalid.

The well-known electoral errors are “only the tip of the iceberg”. According to Selting, according to the current status, the elections to the Berlin district assemblies should also be repeated in full. The representatives of the people at the district level were re-elected on September 26, 2021 together with the House of Representatives and the Bundestag.

“Inadequate preparation” of the election

The judge criticized the state election authority. This had “not sufficiently fulfilled its duty of control and coordination,” said Selting. Among other things, the small number of polling booths and ballot papers was a direct result of “this inadequate preparation”.

Before the legal assessment, Selting had explained the course of the procedure and announced three resolutions – among other things, a motion for bias against the court was rejected. Reporter Sabrina Schönrock then introduced the status of the procedure. A hearing of the first parties involved is planned for the further course of the negotiation.

On Wednesday, the nine judges initially only wanted to deal with four of the 35 objections submitted – those from the state election management, the Senate administration as well as from AfD and the party. These procedures are suitable for “covering all relevant questions in connection with the election process,” the court said in advance.

It can also be repeated in constituencies

The objections also relate to the election to the Berlin district assemblies. The representatives of the people at the district level were re-elected on September 26, 2021 together with the House of Representatives and the Bundestag.

A decision could be made as early as Wednesday, but this is unlikely. According to the law, the judges have three months to do this. Depending on the decision, the election can then be repeated – in its entirety or in individual constituencies.

There were numerous glitches in the capital during last September’s election – such as missing ballot papers, long queues or polling stations that had been closed in the meantime. There were also numerous objections to the result of the Bundestag elections. However, the election examination committee of the Bundestag is responsible for their examination. This will draw up a recommendation for a decision, which Parliament is to decide on in October.

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