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Berlin’s constitutional court ruled this week that the capital’s parliamentary elections must be repeated, a rerun that could change the political equilibrium in the state legislature, Politico reported.
The court found that election results for the lower house and local district councils were invalid, saying there were “serious systemic flaws” in preparations for the polls.
It added that the rerun must occur within 90 days and described the situation as “unique … in the history of elections in the Federal Republic of Germany.”
Berlin’s elections took place on Sep. 26, 2021, which coincided with Germany’s federal elections. The polls also took place while the city was hosting a marathon.
The rerun could threaten the coalition under current mayor Franziska Giffey of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the lead party in Giffey’s governing political union with the Greens and the far-left Die Linke.
If the state government changes as a result of repeated elections, it may affect the political balance in Germany’s federal upper house of parliament.
Observers noted that while the state elections will not directly impact the votes in the federal one that were cast in Berlin that day, the poll’s flaws could lead to political consequences on a national level.
The German federal parliament voted last week to partially repeat the federal election in the capital. That means voters in 431 of Berlin’s 2,257 electoral districts will have to cast their first and second ballots once more.
Opposition parties may yet appeal to the Federal Constitutional Court to compel a repeat of the general election across all Berlin districts.
As in the Berlin state elections, the court is expected to make the final decision.