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Saxony is changing its electoral law and redesigning constituencies

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Saxony is changing its electoral law and redesigning constituencies

The change in the Saxon electoral law was passed by a majority in the Saxon state parliament. This has consequences for the 60 constituencies in the country. One constituency each will be eliminated in the Vogtland district and Central Saxony, while the independent cities of Leipzig and Dresden will have an additional constituency. The other constituencies in Vogtland, Central Saxony and the two major cities will be redesigned. This also applies to the constituencies in Bautzen, which are being reorganized. The new law also stipulates that election candidates will no longer have to give their full postal address for the election campaign.

Why do the constituencies have to be redesigned?

On average, a constituency in Saxony has 64,020 people. In 1994, the original target was around 78,000 people per constituency. In many regions of Saxony, but especially in the districts Central Saxony and Vogtland, the population has shrunk considerably. As a result, there is one constituency each. In the district of Bautzen, too, there are below-average numbers of people per constituency. There, the number of constituencies remains, but the municipalities are reassigned. The large cities Leipzig and Dresden are entitled to more constituencies due to their population growth, because significantly more people live in the constituencies than on average in Saxony. Both cities are to get one more constituency each and the existing constituencies are to be redesigned.

The government coalition of the CDU, the Greens and the SPD introduced these proposals. With the votes of the AfD, they were accepted by a majority. “We’re not entirely happy,” said AfD politician Roland Walter Hermann Ulbrich. Because the 2024 state elections are imminent and in order to avoid “legal attacks” “we just have to do it”. Only the left voted against the proposals. She had previously presented her own bill, but it did not find a majority.

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Make 15 out of 60: That’s what the left wanted

The left wanted to reduce the number of constituencies from 60 to 15 and orient themselves towards the districts. There should be one constituency for each district, including one for the city of Chemnitz. Leipzig and Dresden should get two constituencies. The added value for democracy and voters was not revealed to Saxony’s Minister of the Interior, Armin Schuster (CDU). For the domestic spokesman for the Greens, Valentin Lippmann, the proposals of the left were far too complex and “false labeling”. But the amendment to the electoral law that was passed, with the retention of 60 constituencies and new layouts, was “not exactly an innovative idea” for Lippmann.

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