Election of the Federal Chancellor
© German Bundestag/ Werner Schüring
No Federal Chancellor without a majority in Parliament
One of the first tasks performed by the Bundestag in each electoral term is the election of the Federal Chancellor. A candidate is proposed by the Federal President, as provided for by the Basic Law. The election is then held exclusively among the Members of the German Bundestag, who vote in a secret ballot without any prior debate. The candidate requires an absolute majority in Parliament. This means that at the beginning of the 17th electoral term the new Federal Chancellor needed the votes of at least 312 of its Members.
Following his or her election, the successful candidate is appointed by the Federal President and sworn in before the Bundestag. He or she is now able to propose his or her federal ministers.
Furthermore, it is only possible for the Federal Chancellor to be voted out of office by Parliament - by means of what is known as a constructive vote of no confidence. At the same time, it must elect a successor by the majority of its Members, requesting that the Federal President dismiss the current Federal Chancellor and appoint the newly elected candidate. The Federal President must comply with this request.