Facts about Germany 2015 2015 - Page 18

16 | 17 AT A GLANCE POLITICAL SYSTEM In terms of protocol, the Federal President is Germany’s most senior representative. The President of the Bundestag is, in terms of protocol, the second most senior. The proxy for the Federal President is the President of the The people elect All German citizens aged 18 and over are eligible to vote. They elect MPs in a general, direct, free, and equal election by secret ballot. Bundesrat – an office held on an annual basis by the premier of the one of the federal states. The office with the greatest political power is that of the Federal Chancellor. The President elect of the Federal Constitutional Court is likewise one of the country’s high representatives. State parliaments Joachim Gauck, b. 1940, independent, Federal President since March 2012 Dr. Angela Merkel, b. 1954, CDU, Federal Chancellor since November 2005 As a rule the legislature of the state parliaments is five years. The state constitutions regulate their powers and how they are organised. send delegates to elect State governments Dr. Norbert Lammert, b. 1948, CDU, Bundestag President since 2005 Dr. Andreas Vosskuhle, b. 1963, President of the Federal Constitutional Court The state governments are elected in each case by the state parliaments in a secret vote, and can also be brought down by them. send delegates to