Federal Association of Free Voters
The Federal Association of Free Voters of the Federal Republic of Germany e. V. is an association of state associations founded in 1965, in which municipal groups of voters are organized. He also bears the name Free Voters Germany (proper spelling: FREIE WÄHLER DEUTSCHLAND). The federal chairman is Hubert Aiwanger, the honorary chairman is the former federal chairman Armin Grein.
Ten regional associations belong to the federal association. There are no member associations in Schleswig-Holstein (the state association of voter communities assumes a comparable role), Baden-Württemberg (the Free Voters State Association has left the federal association), in Brandenburg and Bremen (these state associations were "after signs of right-wing infiltration" excluded) as well as in the other city-states of Hamburg (dissolved in 2012 due to lack of electoral groups) and Berlin (never existed).
The Federal Association represents groups of voters regardless of their own designation (which does not have to be Free Voters ). Likewise, only a part of the municipal groups is represented in the regional associations. In North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, only 34% of the 470 municipal electoral communities are members of the State Association of Free and Independent Citizens' and Voter Communities North Rhine-Westphalia e. V.
In order to be able to run in federal and state elections, the Federal Association of Free Voters was founded as a party in 2009 . The association and the association are closely linked in terms of personnel. While independent, local voter groups usually exclude simultaneous membership in a party, due to this relationship membership in the federal association is sometimes exclusively tolerated or promoted.
The external presentation of the individual associations and clubs is not uniform. The federal association and many regional associations prefer the “brand” Free Voters and the abbreviation FW in blue letters as the logo, with the full name in capital letters in black letters underneath and a stylized rising sun above on the left. In Rhineland-Palatinate, the regional association of Free Voters there is trying to ensure that the members of this regional association appear under the name of Free Voting Group and have protected a logo with the abbreviation FWG in an orange font under which many groups compete.
Sometimes the color orange is seen as an identification feature, sometimes there is a distancing from any color.
Relationship with federal association
The Federal Association of Free Voters with its subdivisions has the name Free Voters as its logo, with the Ä dashes being replaced by an orange tick and above on the left the stylized orange sun rising. The individual subdivisions have the respective area names below the text Free Voters in orange.
Since the state associations in many federal states cannot run for state elections, state electoral groups or state parties have been founded in several states, for example in Thuringia, Schleswig-Holstein, Rhineland-Palatinate and Bavaria. Participation in supraregional elections is controversial among free voters. In the course of this dispute, the state association of Baden-Württemberg, among others, left the federal association.
In 1998 the Free Voters of Bavaria took part in the state and district elections for the first time . They achieved a state election result of 3.7%. In the elections in 2003 they were able to increase their result to 4.0%. In both elections, they also managed to get into all seven district days. In 2001 and 2006, the FWG Rhineland-Palatinate also competed in the state elections for the favor of the voters. The FWG Rhineland-Palatinate achieved 2.5% (2001) and 1.6% (2006). In 2004, the free voters in Thuringia also ran for the state elections and achieved 2.6%.
In 2008, the Free Voters of Bavaria were the first to enter a state parliament . After the success of the Bavarian FW in the state elections in 2008, the federal association decided to run nationwide for the European Parliament on June 7, 2009 . A group of voters was founded for the candidacy, today's federal association. The top candidate was Gabriele Pauli . The Free Voters received 442 579 votes, 1.7% of the valid votes. The federal association is closely linked to the federal association in terms of personnel. The federal chairman of both organizations is Hubert Aiwanger, six of the eight executive boards of the federal association are also on the executive committee of the federal association.
As early as the 1950s, voter communities were formed in Bavaria at the municipal and regional level, which, as an alternative to the established parties, ran their own independent candidates in local elections.
The FW Free Voters State Association Bavaria of the free and independent voter communities e. V. (FW-Landesverband Bayern) was founded on May 6, 1978. Today it includes around 870 local and district associations, which are organized into district associations. State chairman Armin Grein was the co-founder for 28 years . Hubert Aiwanger has been his successor since March 2006 .
The regional association would like to "participate in the political decision-making process of the Bavarian people as an alternative to the parties." In order to be able to participate in the state elections in 1998 , the voter group FW Free Voters Bavaria e. V. founded. Running in the state elections was controversial internally and is rejected by some district associations. The free voters, so the criticism, would leave their actual local field of activity. According to the Political Parties Act, participation in the state elections would give them the character of a party. Proponents point out that the rules would be made for the municipalities in the country. From this group of voters, the developed country Association FDP Bayern that since October 2011, the National Association of Free voter belongs. In order to comply with the electoral laws, this association only includes natural persons as members.
The Free Voters - FWG Hessen e. V. were founded on February 19, 1956. The first chairman was Gustav Schwarz from Friedberg. They see themselves as representing the interests of all non-party voter groups in the state. The chairman is Ronald Berg. On June 29, 2019, he succeeded Rudolf Schulz, who did not stand again. Before that, Walter Öhlenschläger (until 2015) was Thomas Braun's successor at the head of the association. The association's member clubs have 15,000 members nationwide.
The voter group FW Free Voters Hessen was founded “as a supplement to the regional association” in order to be able to participate in the 2008 state elections . It received 0.9% of the second vote nationwide. The group of voters has since joined the Federal Association of Free Voters .
The state association maintains a joint online presence with the state association of Free Voters Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania .
The Free Voters of Lower Saxony - Citizens 'Initiatives, Citizens' Lists and Independent Voting Communities were founded on July 7, 2007. State chairman is Udo Striess-Grubert. Originally, they wanted to run for the 2009 Bundestag election , but withdrew their notification of participation before the meeting of the Federal Electoral Committee .
Until 2010, the association viewed itself as a party. On June 5, 2010, the regional association was founded in Rotenburg (Wümme) as a regional association of the Federal Association of Free Voters . As a result, the regional association limited itself again to the role of the umbrella organization for the municipal electoral communities.
The FW Free Voters NRW State Association of Free and Independent Citizens and Voters Communities North Rhine-Westphalia e. V. was founded on November 8, 1980 with headquarters in Hemer . About a third of the 470 groups of voters in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia belong to him. Another 20 percent wanted to become a member in 2010, while the rest either have no interest in becoming a member or do not yet know the association.
Immediately after World War II, voter groups were very strong in North Rhine-Westphalia. With the Local Election Act of 1952, the right to draw up election lists was limited to political parties. As a result, non-party candidates and municipal electoral communities were excluded from voting. When the Federal Constitutional Court ruled in 1960 in a judgment (BVerfGE I1.266) that such exclusions were inadmissible due to a violation of the principles of openness and equal opportunities in political competition and local self-government, the eight-year ban on activities had already destroyed local structures.
In the state elections in 1987 , 2001 and 2006 , the FWG attempted to enter the state parliament, but failed clearly in each of the five percent hurdle . The possible party financing could not be used because some of the member associations refused to disclose their financial situation to the regional returning officer.
In 2010 the FWG Rhineland-Palatinate decided to transform itself back into a mere umbrella organization of groups of voters. To participate in the state election in 2011 of the Confederation was as a member of Association FDP , the State Association FDP Rhineland-Palatinate founded. Manfred Petry was also elected as the founding chairman of this regional association , the current chairman is Stephan Wefelscheid.
The FW / FWG Free Voters Landesverband Saarland e. V. was founded as an umbrella organization for groups of voters in Saarland. Members of the regional association can be district, city, community and local associations as corporate and natural persons as individual members. The chairman is Uwe Kammer.
In the 2004 local elections, free voters won around 10% of the seats at the local level. The Free Voters ran in the state elections on August 30, 2009 and achieved 0.8% of the vote.
In 2011 two parties were founded from the center of the regional association: on August 18, 2011 the Free Voters Saarland and on August 26, 2011 the Free Voters Regional Association Saarland as the regional association of the Federal Association of Free Voters . As a result, both fought a legal battle over the brand name "Free Voters".
There was resistance from the local associations of Free Voters to the appropriation of Free Voters as a party. In the run-up to the state elections in Saarland in 2012 , there were tensions between the state association and the state association. The board members of the regional association and the regional association are now made up of identical people.
The Free Voters Saxony e. V. were founded on November 14, 1992 in the town hall of Meerane . Founding members were u. a. the free electoral associations of Bad Elster , Bad Muskau , Dresden , Krauschwitz , Lauter , Meerane and Pegau . Klaus-Dieter Scholz from Dresden became the first chairman. The chairmanship was taken over by Peter Ohl in 1997 and Bernd Gerber in 2004.
Since it is not possible under the state election law in Saxony to run as an electoral association for the state election, individual members of the Free Voters founded the Free Saxony party in May 2007 in Zwickau . This achieved a result of 1.4%. On June 18, 2011, a state association of Free Voters Saxony of the Federal Association of Free Voters was founded.
The State Association of Free Voters Saxony-Anhalt has been led by Günther Weisse from Naumburg since May 2010 .
In the 2006 state elections , the state association ran as part of the Federation of Citizens' Initiatives and Free Voters in Saxony-Anhalt , which received 0.5% of the vote. On June 12, 2010, members of the State Association of Free Voters Saxony-Anhalt e. V. together with representatives of the popular initiative “Against the municipal area reform” and independent voter initiatives from Wittenberg, Dessau and Jerichower Land, the Free Voters Saxony-Anhalt as a party, which shortly afterwards became a member of the also newly founded Free Voters party.
The State Association of Free Voters Saxony-Anhalt e. V. continued to exist under the chairmanship of Günther Weisse from Naumburg as a contact person for the many free and independent voter communities at the local level. Due to the increasing party-political consolidation of the Free Voters party in the state and federal state, the importance of the state association declined and on April 5, 2019 it was deleted from the register of associations.
The Free Voters party in Thuringia was founded out of the regional association and ran in state elections in 2004 and 2009 . In the local elections in 2009 she received 6.7% of the vote nationwide. Since 2013 it has been part of the Federal Association of Free Voters as a state association .
Former regional associations
The Free Voters Association of Baden-Württemberg resigned in 2009 under the impression that the federal association would participate in the European elections. It was founded on March 3, 1956 in Stuttgart and is deeply rooted in local politics there.
The Free Voters Brandenburg were excluded from the federal association on April 4, 2009 by the federal executive committee.
The regional association was founded on December 6, 2008 in Chorin . Hans-Jürgen Malirs from Hoppegarten became state chairman . The ARD magazine Report Munich reported on March 23, 2009 that right-wing populist forces infiltrated the Free Voters in Brandenburg. The federal association was not informed about these when they were admitted, which is why the regional association was excluded.
After the exclusion, members of the Brandenburg State Association, chaired by Manfred Ehlert (formerly Schill Party ), founded the Free Voters Germany (FWD). a small party as a successor organization. It entered the 2009 Bundestag election with a state list and, together with the Brandenburg United Citizens Movement (BVB), took part in the Together for Brandenburg list : Free voters in the 2009 state elections .
On its website, the FWD expressly pointed out that it was “not identical to Free Voters Germany, Federal Association of Free Voters of the Federal Republic of Germany e. V "is. At the same time, she used a slightly modified form of the sun logo of the Federal Association of Free Voters.
The Brandenburg United Citizens Movements / Free Voters , which is independent of the Federal Association , managed to enter the state parliament in the state elections in 2014 thanks to the basic mandate clause .
The Free Voters Bremen were excluded from the federal association on April 4, 2009.
It was founded on October 5th, 2008 in the brewhouse in Bremen Neustadt. The state association consisted almost exclusively of former members of the former Schill party and the right-wing populist voter association Bremen must live . According to a report by the Weser-Kurier , eight of these board positions were filled. The state chairman Friedhelm Altvater was also accused of designating a subsidy for a Jewish cemetery as a "waste of tax money". The federal association therefore excluded the regional association "after there were signs of right-wing infiltration". When the Landesverband Bremen was admitted, they were not informed about the political past of the members in question.
The Free Voters of Bremen subsequently acted as a registered association, ran for the 2011 state elections in the city of Bremen and achieved 0.2% of the votes there. At the same time, the Bremen and Bremerhaven Citizens List (BBL) of the former FDP parliamentary group leader Uwe Woltemath announced that it would work closely with the Federal Association of Free Voters.
In January 2011, the Free Voters Bremen considered themselves to belong to the Free Voters Germany party , which had emerged from the former Brandenburg State Association, due to personnel overlaps .
The State Association of Free Voters Hamburg was founded in 2010. The state chairman is Henner Kühne. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the regional association of Free Voters Hamburg founded subdivisions of Young Free Voters as well as the district associations Hamburg-Bergedorf and Wandsbek . In addition to the 2017 federal elections, you also ran for the 2019 district elections in the districts of Hamburg-Bergedorf (2.9%) and Hamburg-Wandsbek (0.9%). With a state list of 14 candidates, the Free Voters Hamburg will run for the 2020 state elections.
- Oliver Stortz: The principle of the best minds. The Free Voters in Baden-Württemberg , Books on Demand , Norderstedt 2009, ISBN 978-3-8391-0523-8 .
- Florian Weitzker: The free voters in Germany. History, structure, guidelines , Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung , Sankt Augustin [u. a.] 2008, ISBN 978-3-940955-32-6 . (Future Forum Politics, 93)
- BGH: The name of the electoral association "Free Voters North Association" violates the naming rights of the association "Free Voters Germany" , accessed on April 5, 2019.
- Free voters exclude two state associations for taking legal action, pr-inside.com ( Associated Press ), April 4, 2009
- Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung PARTY MONITOR NEWS - The Federal Association of FREE VOTERS
- For example, the statutes of the Free Voters Association Marktleugast e. V. , accessed April 5, 2019.
- Tann speech - Free voters Landshut, accessed on fw-bayern.de on January 1, 2016
- What color are free voters? Origin unclear, on websites of various local groups, see z. B. Altenmarkt etc., accessed on January 1, 2016
- FWG Rhineland-Palatinate, success analysis of participation in the state elections in 2001 and 2006 ( memento of the original from January 31, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 169 kB)
- Results of the European elections 2009 ( Memento of the original from 23 September 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Board of Directors Federal Association , Board of Directors Federal Association
- Landesvereinigung FREIE VÄHLER Bayern e. V .: history and structure. Landesvereinigung FREIE VÄHLER Bayern e. V., accessed on January 2, 2020 (German).
- Statutes of the FW FREIE VÄHLER State Association of Bavaria of Free and Independent Voting Communities (FW-Landesverband Bayern) e. V. April 7, 2012, accessed April 18, 2019 .
- Local elections 2011 in Hessen. Retrieved April 7, 2019 .
- Final result: Hessen. (No longer available online.) Hessian State Statistical Office, archived from the original on September 25, 2009 ; Retrieved February 17, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Archive link ( Memento of the original from February 12, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Free voters Lower Saxony | Citizens' initiatives, citizen lists and independent voter communities . Fw-niedersachsen.de. November 25, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
- Roderich Egeler ( Federal Returning Officer ): Overview of the recognition of the parties in the Federal Election Committee ( memento from July 20, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Bundestag information from July 17, 2009
- Parliamentary: broadcast of the first meeting of the Federal Electoral Committee on July 17, 2009 . Webtv.bundestag.de. Retrieved December 15, 2010.
- Selected data from political associations , Federal Returning Officer, as of December 31, 2017, accessed on April 5, 2019.
- regional associations of the FW
- Archive link ( Memento of the original dated February 3, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Marcel Winter, Patrick Hintze: Municipal voter communities in North Rhine-Westphalia . Hamburg. 2010. p. 15. (PDF)
- Free voters: Board member of the Saarland regional association. Accessed April 7, 2019 (German).
- Saarbrücker Zeitung Two organizations are arguing about the naming rights for free voters ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Saarbrücker Zeitung Free Voters found a Saarland state association today
- Free voters: Board of Directors of the Saarland Regional Association. Accessed April 7, 2019 (German).
- Free Saxony: Our History , accessed on September 5, 2009
- State election 2009 in Saxony: provisional state result . Statistics.sachsen.de. Retrieved December 15, 2010.
- Participation in the 2009 European elections and resignation from the federal association , communication from the state manager of the state association of Free Voters Baden-Württemberg e. V., February 4, 2009 (PDF; 95 kB)
- Website of the Free Voters Germany (FWD) . Fw-deutschland.net. Archived from the original on September 7, 2011. Retrieved on December 15, 2010.
- '' Together for Brandenburg: Free Voters '' . Bvb-fw.de. Retrieved December 15, 2010.
- Communication from the BBL
- freiewaehler-bremen.de About us ( Memento of the original from August 25, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.