Two states in Germany will have their elections on 14 March

Two states in Germany will have their elections on 14 March

Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg will decide who will run their states for the next five years

On Sunday, 14 March 2021, two federal states in Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg, will elect their new state parliaments, which will hold office for the next five years.

There are about 3.1 million eligible voters in Rhineland-Palatinate and around 7.7 million in Baden-Württemberg.

Two votes in Rhineland-Palatinate and one in Baden-Württemberg

In Rhineland-Palatinate, each citizen will have two votes on their ballots. The first vote will be to elect a candidate from the constituency.

The one who receives the most votes in the constituency wins the so-called direct mandate and automatically moves into the future state parliament. With the second vote, voters will choose the party they prefer the most and depending on the percentage of votes, the number of MPs that will enter the parliament.

In Baden-Württemberg, voters have the right to cast one vote. The state election system is characterised by strong personality voting elements and 70 of at least 120 mandates are awarded in direct election.

13 parties in Rhineland-Palatinate and 21 in Baden-Württemberg

The current government in Rhineland-Palatinate comprises a coalition known as the ‘traffic light coalition’ because of the colour of the parties. These included the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Greens, who will also run in this year’s elections, along with 10 other parties.

Currently, in Baden-Württemberg, the parliament consists of a coalition between Alliance 90/The Greens and the Christian Democratic Union. The two parties will be the main rivals this year as well. Other political groups that will participate are the Alternative for Germany (AfD), Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), and Free Democratic Party (FDP) and several smaller independent groups.

Because of the pandemic crisis, in both states, there will be increased use of voting by mail system. This is a practice better known in Baden-Württemberg but it is also becoming popular in Rhineland-Palatinate.  

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