The parliamentary elections are to be repeated in Berlin on February 12, 2023. The Federal Constitutional Court declared the election of September 26, 2022 invalid. The re-election is said to cost taxpayers 40 million euros. All the latest news about redialing in the Newsticker.

Sunday, February 5, 10:26 a.m .: The interest in postal voting in the upcoming repeat election to the Berlin House of Representatives is significantly lower than in the election in September 2021, which was declared invalid February 7, 723,275 postal ballots were issued. According to the data continuously published by the state returning authority, this corresponds to a good quarter (26.4 percent) of those entitled to vote. In September 2021, it was exactly a third (33 percent) at the same time.

The significantly lower number can be understood as an indication of an overall lower turnout. According to his own statements, state returning officer Stephan Bröchler is hoping for a turnout of 70 percent. Bröchler expressly did not call for postal votes and stated that he himself was a “practicing ballot box voter”. However, postal voting is an alternative that can help to achieve a good turnout. In 2021, around three quarters of those entitled to vote had voted.

CDU General Secretary Mario Czaja recommended postal voting to Berliners at the beginning of January – on the grounds that it was a safer bet in the event that there were debacles again in some polling stations. In the 2021 election, there were not only long queues in front of polling stations, some ballot papers were missing or wrong ones were issued.

Interest in postal voting has increased nationwide and also in Berlin in recent years. In the 2021 election in Berlin, around 983,000 voters requested postal voting documents, around 35 percent of the almost 2.5 million voters. A total of 1.84 million Berliners exercised their right to vote, 46.8 percent of them by postal vote.

Thursday, February 1, 4:37 a.m.: The Berlin AfD went into the election campaign with its state and parliamentary group leader Kristin Brinker as the top candidate. Brinker is now considered the strong woman of the party. After ongoing quarrels in the parliamentary group in the time of its predecessor Georg Pazderski, the AfD in the capital has become a little quieter. Brinker has been state chairwoman since March 2021 and narrowly defeated AfD member of parliament Beatrix von Storch.

The 50-year-old has been an AfD member since 2013 and a member of the state parliament since 2016. In recent months, she has frequently spoken out in plenary debates. She regularly criticizes Berlin’s level of debt for being too high, laments “uncontrolled immigration” to Germany or sharply attacks Red-Green-Red for considering the possible expropriation of large housing companies in Berlin.

In the state parliament, she is considered a budget expert. In August 2020, one of her parliamentary inquiries about the remuneration of government members for the supervisory board caused the then construction senator Katrin Lompscher (left) to resign – due to irregularities in the accounting and taxation of the funds.

Brinker comes from Bernburg (Saxony-Anhalt) and is married to the former AfD head of state Günter Brinker. She studied architecture at the Technical University of Berlin and then did her doctorate. She is more likely to be attributed to the liberal-conservative camp in the AfD.

During the election campaign, however, the party also advertised itself with posters with the blanket slogan “Deportation instead of towing”. Brinker explained: “It is clear to us: Criminal migrants must be expelled, so we have to show a clear edge.”

In the last parliamentary election, the AfD achieved 8 percent, significantly fewer votes than five years earlier with 14.2 percent. Brinker is now hoping for growth. Her goal: “Twelve percent in any case.”

9:32 a.m .: The re-election to the Berlin House of Representatives can take place as planned on February 12th. The Federal Constitutional Court refused to order a postponement of the election, as the judges in Karlsruhe announced on Tuesday. However, the exact examination of whether the complete repetition of the breakdown election of 2021 is constitutional is still pending and will only take place afterwards.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023, 6:48 a.m.: On Tuesday (9:30 a.m.) it will be clear whether the repeat election to the Berlin House of Representatives can take place on February 12 as planned. In contrast, more than 40 plaintiffs filed a constitutional complaint and an urgent application in December in Karlsruhe. In this process, the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court announced the publication of a decision at short notice on Monday. (Az. 2 BvR 2189/22)

The court did not provide any further details. However, shortly before that, a letter from the chairperson of the Senate was announced, in which the deputies are given the opportunity to comment on the main application by March 2nd. From this it can be deduced that so far only the urgent application has been decided on. In this way, the plaintiffs want to ensure that the election cannot take place until a final decision has been made from Karlsruhe.

In principle, the Berlin Constitutional Court is responsible for reviewing elections to the House of Representatives. He declared the election of September 26, 2021 to be invalid overall because of the many glitches. So it has to be repeated in its entirety. The lawsuit in Karlsruhe is directed against this judgment from November.

You can read more about the election in Berlin on the next page.

Surf tips:

On February 12, eligible voters in Berlin can vote. You need certain documents for the polling station. We explain what you need to bring with you to the election.

Elections to the House of Representatives are held in Berlin in February. Would you like to know how you can apply for postal voting and how exactly it works? All information on postal voting can be found online at FOCUS.

A fire broke out on Thursday evening in the Uni-Center in Cologne, which is considered one of the largest residential buildings in Europe. Several callers reported smoke, which spread across all 42 floors, a fire department spokesman said.

Two people were killed and seven injured in a knife attack on a regional train from Kiel to Hamburg on Wednesday. A suspect attacked travelers with a knife before arriving at Brokstedt station. He was arrested shortly thereafter. All the latest news in the ticker.