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Federal Assembly of Germany

The Federal Assembly of Germany (in German: Bundestag) is the parliament of Germany. It was established with the 1949 constitution (the Grundgesetz) and is the successor of the earlier Reichstag. Today, it convenes in Berlin at the Reichstag building.

Together with the Federal Council (Bundesrat), it forms the legislative branch of the German political system; Germany does not have a bicameral parliament in the strict sense though (see Federal Council of Germany for details).

Representatives are elected by popular vote using the additional member system, a hybrid of the first-past-the-post election system and party-list proportional representation. The Bundestag has a minimum threshold of either 5% of the national party vote or three (directly elected) constituency representatives for a party to gain representation. The additional member system results in a varying number of seats; since the 2002 elections, there have been 603 seats. The distribution of the seats is calculated by the Hare-Niemeyer method[?]. The overhang seats are distributed according to the vote count separately for each state.

Members serve four-year terms.

Election results 2002

Party percent of vote Seats
SPD 38.5% 251 (incl. 4 overhang seats[?])
Bündnis '90/Grünen 8.6% 55
CDU/CSU 38.5% 248 (incl. 1 overhang seat[?])
FDP 7.4% 47
PDS 4.0% 2

Since 1999, the Bundestag assembles in the Reichstag building in Berlin, which underwent a significant renovation under the lead of architect Sir Norman Foster.

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