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Tuesday 19, December

Another repeat election? Berlin set for new vote this February

Wait, didn't this happen already? Berlin is heading back to the polls next February for more repeat election. But, this time, it's federal.

The Handmaid’s Tale, Bundesverfassungsgericht Karlsruhe edition. Photo: IMAGO / Zentrixx

Tuesday 19, December

Another repeat election? Berlin set for new vote this February

As we enter the last week before Christmas, Berlin is set to be affected once again by the gift that keeps on giving: the 2021 elections. This vote (which inaugurated the current “traffic light” coalition of SPD, FDP, and Greens) was first carried out quite chaotically in Berlin. Some of the irregularities included long queues at voting booths, missing ballot papers and even votes being cast by minors or other ineligible voters.

For those of you thinking: didn’t we do that already? Did I dream that unpleasant bald man? No, those were just the state elections, and that man is Kai Wegner, the mayor of Berlin since February of this year. The city still needed to repeat its federal vote and a dispute between the CDU/CSU in opposition, and Germany’s ruling coalition, has led to today’s legal decision. There was a disagreement over how many electoral districts are at stake. The government wanted to hold fresh votes in just 431 of Berlin’s 2,257 electoral districts, with the CDU in opposition arguing for a do-over on a much larger scale. This matter has now been settled by the Bundesverfassungsgericht (the Federal Constitutional Court): Berlin will repeat the vote in 455 districts.

It is unlikely that the make up of the whole federal government will change as a result of the new vote in Berlin, but it could have consequences for DIE LINKE (the left party) who are at risk of dropping out of the Bundestag. The new vote would need to be carried out before a deadline of 60 days after the ruling, and February 11, 2024, has been suggested as a likely do-over date.