Electoral commission rejects German Communist Party to take part in September vote

Photo: EPA German Bundestag

The German electoral commission ruled on Thursday that the German Communist Party (DKP) will provisionally not be allowed to participate in elections to the federal parliament on 23 September for failing to meet the necessary formalities, dpa reported.

The DKP, founded in 1968, had lost its status as a political party for repeatedly failing to submit the required statements on its activities to the authorities within the stipulated deadlines, the commission found.

"Deadlines are deadlines," federal election commissioner Georg Thiel said. The DKP, which garnered just 11,558 votes in the proportional count countrywide in 2017 and thus no seats, has four days to appeal the ruling. The DKP slammed the decision, announcing legal steps. "What's being tried here is a cold party ban," it said.

The Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD), which secured 29,785 votes in the last elections, has been admitted.

The commission began two days of checking the registration of 87 smaller parties and associations on Thursday to assess whether they meet the legal requirements. Parties passed by the commission still have to submit a stipulated number of signatures from backers.

Under the German electoral system, there is a threshold of 5% to enter parliament that works against minor parties, splinter groups and independents.

South Schleswig Voters' Association (SSW), the party of Germany's Danish minority and the ethnic group of the Friesians, was also admitted to the election. It is hoping to secure at least one seat in the Bundestag - this could become possible, as it was declared a national minority party by the commission, for which the 5-per-cent threshold does not apply.

Another group that was admitted as a party was the III. Path, although the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has classified it as an "extreme-right" party with members belonging to the "neo-Nazi scene."

Six political groups are represented in the outgoing Bundestag. In order of seats they are: the conservative alliance of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) with its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Social Democrats (SPD), the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), the liberal FDP, the hard-left Die Linke and the Greens.

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