The election to the 18th German Bundestag will be held on 22 September 2013. The Federal President signed the Order on the 2013 Bundestag Election on 8 February 2013 (Federal Law Gazette I page 165).
The Basic Law specifies the period in which a Bundestag election has to take place (Article 39 para. 1 of the Basic Law).
In accordance with that provision, new elections are held between 46 months (at the earliest) and 48 months (at the latest) after the current electoral term has begun. If the electoral term of the Bundestag is terminated early, there have to be new elections within 60 days after the decision has been taken to dissolve the Bundestag.
The electoral term of the 17th German Bundestag started on 27 October 2009 with its constituent sitting. Wednesday, 28 August 2013, would be the earliest date on which the elections to the 18th German Bundestag could be held, the latest possible date would be Sunday, 27 October 2013.
About nine months before the election, the Federal President determines the date of the Bundestag election within the above period in consultation with the Federal Government. Election day has to be on a Sunday or a public holiday (Section 16 of the Federal Elections Act). As a rule, Bundestag elections should not be conducted during main holiday seasons, so election day is determined on Sunday, 22 September 2013.
Irrespective of the election date, elections to the assemblies of party delegates may, at the earliest, be held 29 months after the electoral term of the Bundestag has begun, this would be from 28 March 2012 for the next Bundestag election. Candidates may be elected 32 months after the electoral term has started, this means from 28 June 2012 (Section 21 (3), fourth sentence, of the Federal Elections Act).©2013 The Federal Returning Officer