When the Hessians elect a new state parliament in 2023, some of the 55 constituencies will include other cities, districts and communities than before.

During its most recent session, Parliament passed a reform of the electoral law that takes account of the demographic development in recent years.

However, the reform does not provide for a reduction in the size of the state parliament, which currently consists of 137 instead of the planned 110 MPs.

To this end, it was ensured that the next state elections correspond to the requirements of the constitution.

The development of the population in the country will decide whether this will remain so in the long term.

The background to the new design of the constituencies is the requirement in the state elections law that the deviation of the population eligible to vote in a constituency may not exceed 25 percent from the average of the other constituencies.

According to information from the non-partisan constituency commission, this was not the case in Hesse in three constituencies, in one the deviation was 24.9 percent and in twelve others more than 20 percent.

In eleven constituencies there was a deviation of more than 15 percent.

A judgment by the state court had called for the reshaping of the constituencies to ensure election equality.

Half of the members of parliament in Hesse are elected via the state list and half directly in the 55 constituencies.

"The bloated state parliament must end"

According to Christian Heinz, legal policy spokesman for the CDU parliamentary group, the constituency commission had drawn up a "cautious and overall balanced change proposal".

The government factions of the CDU and the Greens voted for the draft law, but the FDP also voted in favor of the law.

The Liberals had actually proposed reducing the constituencies from 55 to 45, so that the number of MPs in the state parliament would fall again.

"The bloated state parliament must end as soon as possible," said Jörg-Uwe Hahn, Vice President of the state parliament.

Nevertheless, the Liberals had introduced the approved draft law with the CDU and Greens.

The chairman of the Association of Taxpayers in Hesse, Joachim Papendick, also criticized the change: "The MPs missed the opportunity to talk seriously about possibilities in connection with the legally necessary design of constituencies, overhang and equalization mandates in the future impossible or at least unlikely The consequence is clear for Papendick: "There is a risk of a significantly oversized state parliament for another five years."

In the opinion of the chairman, the lack of willingness to reform in the Hessian parliament is all the more regrettable after a new government majority in the federal government has agreed to quickly downsize the Bundestag.

In this context, Papendick recalled that the Hessian state parliament caused "considerable additional costs" for diets, equipment, office space, staff, travel and other things.

The SPD and the left abstained from the vote.

SPD parliamentary group leader Günter Rudolph said about the new regulation: "The upcoming state elections are now constitutionally on solid ground, but we could have imagined a different solution, especially for the Kassel-Land constituencies." For the local political spokesman for the left, Hermann Schaus, stood states: "The revision of the constituencies provided for in the draft law is necessary".

He restricted, however, that the presented law only secures the legal validity of the upcoming state elections.

The AfD parliamentary group had presented its own bill and voted against the law.

"Five constituencies still deviate significantly from the average with more than 20 percent," complained MP Klaus Gagel and accused the state government of ignoring the resolutions of the district councils of Fulda, Vogelsberg and Mainz-Kinzig district as well as several municipalities.

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