Electoral Funeral in Berlin

More than a year ago, voters in the German state of Berlin went to the polls to elect members of the local governing body, a process that takes place every five years. The electoral irregularities were so extensive that the constitutional court is looking to declare the election invalid, which would necessitate holding a new election.

Many thanks to Hellequin GB for translating this article from the Berliner Zeitung:

Election glitches in Berlin: Karlsruhe judge sees conditions as in a dictatorship

The federal constitutional judge Peter Müller said in a podcast for the FAZ that such processes as in Berlin have probably never taken place in Germany.

The federal constitutional judge Peter Müller has massively criticized the Berlin election mishaps and compared them to conditions in a dictatorship. In the podcast “Objection” for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the former Prime Minister of Saarland was amazed at what happened in the elections for the House of Representatives and the Bundestag.

If that is how it is presented in the media, “then it should be a one-off case,” said Müller. Conditions were described about which one was tempted to say, “One could have imagined something like this a few decades ago in some dictatorial so-called developing country, but not in the middle of Europe, in the middle of Germany”.

As far as he can see, these are “actual processes that have never taken place in a comparable way, at least in Germany.” Müller, who is responsible for electoral law in the second senate of the Federal Constitutional Court, also said that the distribution of mandates under the Federal Elections Act had “meanwhile reached a level of complexity that, in my opinion, is no longer transparent for the average citizen.” An abstract judicial review proceeding against this regulation is currently underway.

A repeat election in Berlin is becoming more and more likely

After an initial assessment, the Berlin Constitutional Court considers the elections to the Berlin House of Representatives and the district assemblies (BVV) to be invalid. The court “is leaning towards declaring the elections to the House of Representatives and the BVV as a whole invalid,” it said in a press release. The elections would then have to be repeated throughout Berlin.

The constitutional and administrative lawyer Christian Pestalozza, on the other hand, was surprised at the preliminary assessment of the Constitutional Court. “The extent of a repeat election must be in proportion to the election errors,” said the professor from the Free University of Berlin to the German Press Agency. “You can’t mandate new elections across the board if the election was largely error-free.”

It is not certain when the verdict on the validity of the election will be handed down. After the oral hearing, in which numerous participants had their say, the judges want to continue to discuss it.

Afterword from the translator:

I don’t know which dimension Peter Müller has been living in the few last years, but definitely NOT in ours. Also, I do not believe that these shenanigans never happened before in Germany, historically speaking, and by that I don’t mean everything before Germany was created after the defeat of Napoleon III, as a single country, at Versailles in 1871.

“The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” — Joseph Stalin, former “bosom buddy” of Adolf Hitler

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