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Court Rules Berlin Must Re-Run 2021 State Election

GERMANY

The Constitutional Court of Berlin has ruled that the state must re-run the election held in the German capital in 2021 due to irregularities with the voting process. A re-run of the election must take place within 90 days with 12 February 2023 seen as the most likely date.

  • The voting process in September 2021 was criticised at the time as chaotic, with poorly organised polling stations unprepared to hold federal, state, local elections and a city-level referendum on the same day. Around 20% of Berlin's electoral districts will also re-run elections to the Federal Bundestag, but this is unlikely to materially alter the strength of Chancellor Olaf Scholz's governing coalition.
  • Berlin is currently run by a centre-left coalition of the Social Democrats, Greens, and Left Party. As head of the largest party in the regional legislature, regional SPD head Franziska Giffey serves as Governing Mayor of Berlin.
  • Opinion polls show the SPD having fallen behind the environmentalist Greens and centre-right Christian Democratic Union in the city. The current coalition is likely to retain its majority, but the order of seniority may change.
  • If the Greens emerge as the largest party it would mark the first time ever that they have held the Governing Mayor's office. It would be the first time since 2001 that an SPD official has not led the capital, and come as a blow to Scholz's party and its standing for losing such an historic stronghold.
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The Constitutional Court of Berlin has ruled that the state must re-run the election held in the German capital in 2021 due to irregularities with the voting process. A re-run of the election must take place within 90 days with 12 February 2023 seen as the most likely date.

  • The voting process in September 2021 was criticised at the time as chaotic, with poorly organised polling stations unprepared to hold federal, state, local elections and a city-level referendum on the same day. Around 20% of Berlin's electoral districts will also re-run elections to the Federal Bundestag, but this is unlikely to materially alter the strength of Chancellor Olaf Scholz's governing coalition.
  • Berlin is currently run by a centre-left coalition of the Social Democrats, Greens, and Left Party. As head of the largest party in the regional legislature, regional SPD head Franziska Giffey serves as Governing Mayor of Berlin.
  • Opinion polls show the SPD having fallen behind the environmentalist Greens and centre-right Christian Democratic Union in the city. The current coalition is likely to retain its majority, but the order of seniority may change.
  • If the Greens emerge as the largest party it would mark the first time ever that they have held the Governing Mayor's office. It would be the first time since 2001 that an SPD official has not led the capital, and come as a blow to Scholz's party and its standing for losing such an historic stronghold.