Election of the Presidium

Members electing the Presidium

(© German Bundestag/Simone M. Neumann)

The President and Vice-Presidents of the German Bundestag are elected during the constituent sitting, the very first time the new parliament meets following the elections. Traditionally, the President of the German Bundestag comes from the largest parliamentary group. As a rule, many Members from the other parliamentary groups also vote for them in the secret ballot.

If no candidate gains an absolute majority of the Members of the German Bundestag in the first ballot, a second ballot is then held, possibly with new candidates. Should no candidate gain an absolute majority in this vote either, the two candidates who have gained the largest shares of the vote go into a third ballot, which is decided by the simple majority of the votes cast. In the event of a tie, the President in the Chair draws lots to decide which of the two candidates is elected.

Election of the Vice-Presidents

Once the President of the German Bundestag has accepted their election and assumed the conduct of the constituent sitting from the President by Seniority, individual votes are held to elect the Vice-Presidents.

There are no provisions concerning the number of Vice-Presidents. However, since 1994 the Rules of Procedure have provided for each parliamentary group to provide at least one Vice-President.

Like the President, they are elected for the duration of the electoral term and the Bundestag cannot later remove them from office. Together with the President of the German Bundestag, they form the Presidium. They are all also members of the Council of Elders.