After Thuringia, the parity requirement in a state parliament was also annulled by the next state constitutional court. In Brandenburg, the AfD and the NPD had been charged.

The Brandenburg Constitutional Court overturned the parity law for filling party candidate lists in future state elections – like the Thuringian constitutional judges before the ordinance there. The law limits the freedoms of parties to nominate candidates and thus participate in elections, the court announced in the judgment in Potsdam on Friday.

Setback to efforts to meet a women’s quota

The law obliges the parties to fill their lists of candidates with an equal number of men and women. The ruling is a setback for similar efforts in other states and at the federal level. The court upheld two lawsuits from the NPD and the AfD, which believe that the law severely affects the parties’ agency and agency. In addition, four AfD members of the state parliament had filed constitutional complaints.

Brandenburg was the first federal state to have such a parity law. It obliges the parties to alternately fill their candidate lists with an equal number of women and men in state elections. Last year, the state parliament voted in favor of the law and it has been in effect since June 30 this year. The president of the Brandenburg state parliament, Ulrike Liedtke, defended the ordinance. When half the population is women, equal representation of women is a democratic necessity, she said at the August hearing. A parity rule has been or is being discussed in various federal states.

Women are also fighting for more participation at the federal level

In July, the Thuringian Constitutional Court overturned the local electoral law, according to which parties must alternate men and women on their candidate lists for state elections. The judges essentially argued that the Parity Act violated the right to liberty and equality of choice, as well as the right of political parties to freedom of activity, freedom of programs, and equal opportunity.

At the federal level too, women are fighting for more participation in parliaments, for example the chairman of the Green parliamentary group Katrin Göring-Eckardt and the former Bundestag president Rita Süssmuth (CDU). In the 2017 elections, the share of women in the Bundestag fell from 37.3 percent to 31.2 percent. In the Brandenburg state parliament, the proportion of female members of parliament is about one third.

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