Election to the 19th German Bundestag
on 24 September 2017
The German Bundestag is the representation of the people of the Federal Republic of Germany and, being vested with decisive legislative authority, its most important body. It is composed of representatives of the German people who are elected for four years in general, direct, free, equal and secret elections.
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 18th German Bundestag started on 22 October 2013 with its constituent sitting. Consequently, the date of the election will have to be within the period from Wednesday, 23 August 2017 to Sunday, 22 October 2017.
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.
In consultation with the Federal Government, the Federal President has now set the election date for Sunday, 24 September 2017 (see order of the Federal President concerning the 2017 Bundestag election of 23 January 2017 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 74)).
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 23 March 2016 for this Bundestag election. Candidates may be elected 32 months after the electoral term has started, this means from 23 June 2016 (Section 21 (3), third sentence, of the Federal Elections Act).