Election to the 20th German Bundestag
on 26 September 2021
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 19th German Bundestag started on 24 October 2017 with its constituent sitting. Consequently, the date of the election will have to be within the period from Wednesday, 25 August 2021 to Sunday, 24 October 2021.
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, 26 September 2021 (see order of the Federal President concerning the 2021 Bundestag election of 8 December 2020 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 2769)).
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 25 March 2020 for this Bundestag election. Candidates may be elected 32 months after the electoral term has started, this means from 25 June 2020 (Section 21 (3), third sentence, of the Federal Elections Act).