Berlin

Parties on the fringe

We've already told you about the CDU and the four other major political parties vying for a seat in the Bundestag. And you probably know about the irreverent but as of yet not formidable Pirates. But what about the rest? Here's a rundown.

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This September, no fewer than 28 political groups are scrambling for a piece of the Bundestag pie. We talked to Germany’s wildest, weirdest and most radical parties.

Getting there: To get on the ballot, parties must have their programme and candidates approved by the Federal Electoral Committee. Next, for each state in which they plan to run, they must collect 2000 signatures from the public, or at least 0.1 percent of eligible voters, along with 200 signatures for each direct vote. Out of the 58 parties who tried to run this year, only 28 were approved in July. To get into parliament, they’ll need to win a total of five percent of the electorate or three direct mandates. None of these parties has managed it since 1949!