Berlin Rerun: Partial Repeat of 2021 German Federal Election | World News

Feb 11, 2024

Half a million Berliners were called to the polls on Sunday in a repeat of Germany's federal election two years ago after officials in the capital were found to have tampered with the original vote.
In December, the country's constitutional court ordered a partial run again After several accidents were discovered during the original election on 26 September, 2021,
These included incorrect ballot papers, missing ballot papers and queues of people waiting outside polling stations after polling had closed.
Some voters did not get a chance to vote amid the chaos, while others cast their votes after result estimates were already published in the media.
The Berlin Marathon was held on the same day, making it more difficult for officials to deliver replacement ballots to polling places.
Berlin has already held a repeat vote in the state, which coincided with the federal election in 2021 and resulted in a change of mayor.
Could the result change the German government?
Sunday's reunification affects about a fifth of Berlin constituencies – about 455 of the city's 2,256 electoral wards – but will not lead to any change in Chancellor Olaf Scholz's centre-left coalition as less than 1% of the country's voters participate. Will take.
Despite having little effect on the structure of the federal government, voters can make minor changes to the Bundestag, the lower house of Germany's parliament.
Berlin currently sends 29 out of 736 MPs to the Bundestag and some are at risk of losing their seats.
Voters may send warning to Scholz's coalition
The reelection, however, will serve as a litmus test of the popularity of the ruling coalition made up of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), the eco-friendly Greens and the business-focused Free Democrats (FDP).
Scholz's government has seen its support erode as the country grapples with an economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lasting effects of high inflation following Russia's war in Ukraine, as well as falling demand for German exports.
The far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD) has seen a resurgence in popularity, particularly in eastern Germany over the past two years, as it campaigns against increased immigration.
However, the party is unlikely to make major gains in Berlin reunification as it does not have the same level of support in the capital.
Rerunning may cause new problems
There is also a risk that turnout will be much lower than the original vote, which equated to 75.2% of eligible voters citywide.
Some Berliners have questioned the need to hold a repeat election just before Germany's next federal election – which will be held before October 26 next year.
A further complication is that some Berliners have reached voting age from 2021 and are eligible to take part, while others have, over the past two years, moved to new voting areas.
Another hurdle is that the same candidates must stand as the original vote, even though a former AfD lawmaker, Birgitte Malsack-Vinkemann, is in custody on charges of supporting a far-right terrorist organization.
Meanwhile, three states, Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg, are scheduled to hold regional elections in September.
German voters will also take part in the European parliamentary elections to be held in June.

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