Germany’s grand coalition agreed late on Tuesday to electoral reforms aimed at reducing the number of lawmakers in the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament.
After lengthy negotiations, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), their Bavarian sister party the CSU, and the Social Democrats (SPD) all agreed on a two-stage model that would begin next year and reduce the number of constituencies from 299 to 280 by the 2025 election. The move would hopefully see the growth “dampened,” CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said.
The bloated Bundestag currently houses 709 lawmakers, making it the largest democratic chamber in the world. The only Parliament that holds more is the Chinese National People’s Congress, which has 2980 deputies.
Without the alterations, it was feared that more than 800 lawmakers could be crammed into the Bundestag after next year’s elections.
Other reforms under discussion, which will be reviewed after the 2021 nationwide poll, included lowering the voting age to 16, extending the legislative period from four to five years, and regulations on equal representation of women in the Bundestag, according to the coalition committee’s resolution paper.
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