GERMAN CONSTITUTION-BASIC LAW
(Amended 19 August 1969 and 23 August 1976)
1. A new delimitation of federal territory may be made to ensure that the Laender by the size and capacity are able effectively to fulfill the functions incumbent upon them. Due regard shall be given to regional, historical and cultural ties, economic expediency, and the requirements of regional policy and planning.
2. Measures for a new delimitation of federal territory shall be effected by federal statutes which shall require confirmation by referendum. The Laender thus affected shall be consulted.
3. A referendum shall be held in the laender from whose territories or partial territories a new Land or a Land which redefined boundaries is the be formed (affected Laender). The referendum shall be held on the question whether the affected Laender are to remain within their existing boundaries or whether the new Land or Land with redefined boundaries should be formed. The referendum shall be deemed to be in favor of the formation of a new Land or of a Land with redefined boundaries where approval is given to the change by a majority in all the territories or partial territories of an affected Land whose assignment to a Land is to be changed in the same sense. The referendum shall be deemed not to be in favor where change; such rejection shall, however, be of no consequence where in one part of the territory whose assignment of the affected Land is to be changed a majority of two-thirds approve of the change, unless in the entire territory of the affected Land a majority of two-thirds reject the change.
4. Where in a clearly definable area of interconnected population and economic settlement, the parts of which lie in several Laender and which has a population of at least one million, one tenth of those of its population entitled to vote in Bundestag elections petition by popular initiative for the assignment of that area to one Land, provision shall be made within two years in a federal statute determining whether the delimitation of the affected Laender shall be changed pursuant to paragraph 2 of this Article or determining that a plebiscite shall be held in the affected Laender.
5. The plebiscite shall establish whether approval is given to a change of Laender delimitation to be proposed in the statute. The statute may put forward different proposals, not exceeding two in number, for the plebiscite. Where approval is given by a majority to a proposed change of Laender delimitation, provision shall be made within two years in a federal statute determining whether the delimitation of the Laender concerned shall be changed pursuant to paragraph 2 of this Article. Where approval is given, in accordance with the third and fourth sentences of paragraph 3 of this Article, to a proposal put forward for the plebiscite, a federal statute providing for the formation of the proposed Land shall be enacted within two years of the plebiscite and shall no longer require confirmation by referendum.
6. A majority in a referendum or in a plebiscite shall consist of a majority of the votes cast, provided that they amount to at least one quarter of the population entitled to vote in Bundestag elections. Other detailed provisions concerning referendums, popular petitions and plebiscites (Volksentscheide, Volksbefragungen) shall be made in a federal statute; such statute may also provide that popular petitions may not be repeated within a period of five years.
7. Other changes concerning the territory of the Laender may be effected by state agreements between the Laender concerned or by a federal statute with the approval of the Bundesrat where the territory which is to be the subject of a new delimitation does not have more than 10,000 inhabitants. Detailed provision shall be made in a federal statute requiring the approval of the Bundesrat and the majority of the members of the Bundestag. It shall make provision for the affected communes and districts to be heard.
1. The deputies to the German Bundestag are elected in universal, direct, free, equal and secret elections. They are representatives of the whole people, are not bound by orders and instructions and are subject only to their conscience.
2. Anyone who has attained the age of twenty one is entitled to vote, anyone who has attained the age of twenty-five is eligible for election.
3. Details will be regulated by a Federal law.
As amended 23 August 1976
1. The Bundestag is elected for a four-year term. Its legislative term ends with the assembly of a new Bundestag. The new election shall be held forty- five months at the earliest, and forty-seven months at the latest after the beginning of the legislative term. Where the Bundestag is dissolved, the new election shall be held within sixty days.
2. The Bundestag shall assemble, at the latest, on the thirtieth day after the election.
3. The Bundestag determines the termination and resumption of its meetings. The President of the Bundestag may convene it at an earlier date. He must do so if one-third of the members, the Federal President or the Federal Chancellor so demand.
1. The scrutiny of elections is the responsibility of the Bundestag. It also decides whether a deputy has lost his seat in the Bundestag.
2. Against the decision of the Bundestag an appeal can be made to the Federal Constitutional Court.
3. Details will be regulated by a Federal law.
1. The Bundesrat consists of members of the Laender governments which appoint and recall them. Other members of such governments may act as substitutes.
2. Each Land has at least three votes; Laender with more than two million inhabitants have four, Laender with more than seven million inhabitants, six votes (amended Unification Treaty of 31 August 1990).
3. Each Land may delegate as many members as it has votes. The votes of each Land may be cast only as a block vote and only by members present or their substitutes.
1. The Federal President is elected, without debate, by the Federal Convention. Every German is eligible who is entitled to vote for the Bundestag and who has attained the age of forty.
2. The term of office of the Federal President is five years. Reelection for a consecutive term is permitted only once.
3. The Federal Convention consists of the members of the Bundestag and an equal number of members elected by the representative assemblies of the Laender according to the rules of proportional representation.
4. The Federal Convention meets not later than thirty days before the expiration of the term of office of the Federal President or, In the case of premature termination, not later than thirty days after this date. It is convened by the President of the Bundestag.
5. After expiration of the legislative term the period specified in paragraph 4, first sentence, begins with the first meeting of the Bundestag.
6. The person receiving the votes of the majority of the members of the Federal Convention is elected. If such majority is not obtained by any candidate in two ballots, the candidate who receives the largest number of votes in a further ballot is elected.
7. Details will be regulated by a Federal law.
1. The Federal Chancellor is elected, without debate, by the Bundestag on the proposal of the Federal President.
2. The person obtaining the votes of the majority of the members of the Bundestag is elected. The persons elected must be appointed by the Federal President.
3. If the person proposed is not elected, the Bundestag may elect within fourteen days of the ballot a Federal Chancellor by more than one-half of its members.
4. If there is no election within this period, a new ballot shall take place without delay in which the person obtaining the largest number of votes is elected. If the person elected obtained the votes of the majority of the members of the Bundestag the Federal President must appoint him within Seven days of the election. If the person elected did not receive this majority, the Federal President must within even days either appoint him or dissolve the Bundestag