Germany’s constitutional court has ruled for a partial repeat of the 2021 federal election in Berlin, impacting 455, or a fifth, of the city’s 2256 electoral districts due to irregularities. This decision follows Parliament’s earlier order for a repeat in 431 districts, with the opposition conservatives advocating for a broader re-run, leading to a complaint lodged at the court.
While the ruling may have implications for the composition of parliament, analysts believe it is unlikely to significantly affect the majority of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s three-way coalition, consisting of the centre-left Social Democrats, Greens, and business-friendly Free Democrats. The irregularities mainly pertain to a limited number of constituencies.
The far-left Linke party, which narrowly entered parliament in 2021, could potentially breathe a sigh of relief, as the ordered partial re-run is not expected to impact its mandates significantly. The Linke party had secured three direct mandates, two of which were in Berlin, allowing it to surpass the 5% hurdle to enter parliament. The court’s decision is unlikely to jeopardize its proportional representation seats.
Political scientists, such as Stefan Marschall from the University of Duesseldorf, and Thorsten Faas from Berlin’s Freie Universitaet, anticipate manageable consequences, with some mandates possibly shifting between parties. However, they believe it is highly unlikely that the Linke party will lose one of its two direct mandates in Berlin.