The Federal Elections Act contains detailed provisions concerning the procedure followed for Bundestag elections, in particular regarding the electoral system, the electoral bodies, franchise and eligibility to stand for parliament, the poll and the establishment of the election result.
The Description of Constituencies (Annex 2 to Section 2 Subsection 2 BWG) contains the boundaries and descriptions of the constituencies for the elections to the Bundestag, last amended by the Twentythird Law amending the BWG of 25 June 2020 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 1409).
To make it easier for the political parties to nominate candidates and elect delegates to the delegates’ assemblies for the election to the 20th German Bundestag on 26 September 2021 while the restrictions on meetings persist, the necessary framework conditions have been provided by this statutory instrument for a limited period of time (until 31 December 2021).
The Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community issued the COVID-19 Ordinance on the Nomination of Candidates in accordance with Section 52 (1) and (4) of the Federal Elections Act. On 28 January 2021 the German Bundestag agreed to the version below. The Ordinance entered into force on 3 February 2021.
For the implementation of the Federal Elections Act, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community acting on the authority assigned under Section 52 of the Federal Elections Act, has issued the Federal Electoral Regulations (BWO), which put the specifications of the Federal Elections Act into concrete terms.
The Federal Electoral Regulations above all contain regulations concerning the appointment and activity of the electoral bodies, the individual prerequisites for entry in the voters’ register, the admission of nominations and the postal ballot.
This act regulates the legal status of Members of the German Bundestag. It contains rules on the application for parliamentary seats, the legal status of public servants elected as members of the Bundestag, benefits for current and former members of the Bundestag, the independence of members of the Bundestag and the law on parliamentary groups in the Bundestag.
The Act on Political Parties contains specific provisions by federal Law concerning party legislation, especially with regard to the constitutional status and functions of political parties as well as the concept of a “political party”. Furthermore, it regulates several sectors of the party system, for instance designation and internal organization, equal treatment, principles and the extent of state funding, rendering of account and the implementation of the ban on unconstitutional parties.
Act Concerning Measures Under the Law of Companies, Cooperative Societies, Associations, Foundations and Commonhold Property to Combat the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic (GesRuaCOVBekG)
The spread of the novel SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 pandemic) has led to serious restrictions in all spheres of private and business life in the Federal Republic of Germany which were unthinkable before. They have also made the work of political parties more difficult.
To enable political parties and other bodies to take the necessary decisions and maintain their ability to act while the restrictions on meetings persist, the Act temporarily (until 31 December 2021) facilitates, among others, the holding of members’ and delegates’ assemblies.
The organization of parties as an association ist regulated by the rules on associations contained in Sections 21 to 79 of the Civil Code. German political parties are generally organized as unregistered associations, i. e. associations without legal personality. However, according to Section 3 of the Party Law and court rulings, political parties organized as unregistered associations have restricted legal capacity. Some German political parties are also organized as registered associations (eingetragener Verein, e. V.)
The Act on Electoral Statistics serves as a legal basis for compiling general and representative statistics of the elections to the German Bundestag and the elections of members of the European Parliament from the Federal Republic of Germany. The Act regulates measures to ensure the secrecy of the ballot and statistical confidentiality.
The Penal Code contains provisions regulating the loss of the right to hold public office, the eligibility to stand for election and the right to vote in consequence of criminal acts as well as criminal acts during elections and ballots.
The Act on the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfGG) contains provisions concerning the jurisdiction of the Federal Constitutional Court, the procedure and individual types of proceedings. The Federal Constitutional Court decides, for instance, whether political parties are unconstitutional. It also rules on complaints filed against decisions of the Bundestag regarding the validity of a Bundestag or European election, and on complaints of associations about their not having been recognized as political parties in a Bundestag election.