Double mandate

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With a double - or multiple mandate are political deputies provided that two or more mandates in different parliaments at the same time - or identical in terms of overlapping legislative periods - hold.

Double mandates in majority voting

With majority voting , only those who receive a direct mandate in one constituency can enter parliament . It was common in Germany until 1918 (and in other countries with majority voting rights) for (especially well-known) candidates to run in several constituencies at the same time. This increased the likelihood that the candidate was elected. With these multiple candidates, there is the possibility of a double mandate (triple mandate etc.) if the candidate was elected in several constituencies. In this case, the candidate accepted one of the mandates, the others there was a by-election . For example, in the Reichstag election in 1884 there were five such double mandates.

Double mandates in different parliaments

In federally organized states, parliaments exist both at the level of the member state and at the level of the state. In Europe there is also the European Parliament . Here it is possible for candidates to receive mandates in several parliaments. This is discussed under the aspects of the separation of powers and the separation function of the federal principle, the breach of duty by the MPs because he is not in a position to properly perform both mandates or of conflicting goals and the aspect of double payment of diets . In some states (such as Australia ) or for the EU Parliament, incompatibility rules exist in order to avoid double mandates. In other states, such as Germany , the exercise of mandates in the federal and state parliaments (in some states) is permitted. A ban on double mandates can be designed in such a way that a candidacy by incumbent MPs is prohibited, or by the obligation to forego one of the mandates in the event of multiple elections.


Arguments for the admissibility of double mandates

  • According to the principle of free choice , the right to stand as a candidate should be restricted as little as possible.
  • The free mandate of the MP means that he does not have to make any rules as to which debates and votes he takes part in.

Separation of Powers and the Separation Function of the State Principle

Already Montesquieu saw in federalism a form of separation of powers. The clear division of competencies between the central state on the one hand and federal states on the other prevents a concentration of power. Mixing these levels reduces the effect of this form of separation of powers. Such a mixture arises through double mandates in the national parliament and in the parliament of the member state. Conversely, it is argued that close coordination of federal and state policy makes sense. The federal states are bound by the principle of loyalty to the federal government; the member states are typically also represented at parliamentary level .

Breach of duty by the MP

A double mandate can be understood as a breach of duty by the MP. Literally, the MP cannot be the servant of two masters , that is, the divergent interests of the central state and the member state can be at the same time. There is therefore a conflict of objectives that the MP can resolve by overweighting one particular interest situation (and thus voting against its interests in the other parliament) or by voting contradictingly in both parliaments. There is also a temporal conflict. Today, parliamentary mandates are typically designed as a main occupation. Participation in plenary sessions, committees, etc. in both parliaments, typically in different places, is often not affordable. This is countered by the fact that the MP is not obliged to attend meetings.

Double diets

In accordance with the respective parliamentary compensation laws, the member receives diets and material resources in both parliaments. In Germany, the parliamentary compensation laws typically regulate that the diets are offset against each other in whole or in part.

Situation in Germany

Double mandates in the Bundestag and state parliaments

Double mandates are permitted in Germany. State law regulations to offset or delete diets for state parliament membership are also permitted. While double mandates were not unusual in the first three parliamentary terms of the Bundestag, there were only isolated cases later. In the first electoral period, 115 members of the Bundestag also had seats in the state parliaments, in the second there were 73 and in the third 45. Between nine and 25 cases were recorded from the fourth to the ninth electoral period, after which it was single-digit values. From the 1990s, the values ​​were between zero and three. Most of these double mandates only existed for a short time. In the first electoral term, 74 MPs, 50 in the second and 23 in the third, had double mandates for more than three months. After that there were a maximum of 7 MPs, from the ninth electoral term onwards there were a few individual cases.

Of the constitution of 2017 elected parliament to the state election in Saxony end of 2019, for the possessed AFD elected Bundestag and Saxon Landtag deputies Frauke Petry a dual mandate. From October to December 2017, four other MPs had short-term double mandates: Canan Bayram and Stefan Gelbhaar (Greens, Berlin), Alexander Krauss (CDU, Saxony) and Detlev Spangenberg (AfD, Saxony). Also belonged Andreas Mrosek (AFD) from Dessau to April 2018 both the German Bundestag and the Landtag of Saxony-Anhalt. Then he resigned the state parliament mandate. In October 2018, the AfD parliamentary group applied for a ban on double mandates in the NRW state parliament.

Double mandates in the European Parliament and German Parliaments

Until the first direct election of the European Parliament, all European parliamentarians were members of the national parliaments. Since the first direct election, the proportion of double mandates has been comparable to the situation within Germany.

Since 2004 it is no longer possible to be an MEP and at the same time a member of a national parliament.

Marcus Pretzell (elected for the AfD) had a double mandate as MEP and member of the NRW state parliament from 2017 to 2019. The AfD chairman Jörg Meuthen had a double mandate as MEP and member of the Baden-Württemberg state parliament from the beginning of November to the end of December 2017 before he concentrated on his mandate in the European Parliament.

Double mandates in the Federal Council and German parliaments

A double mandate in the Bundestag and Bundesrat would run counter to the separation of powers and is therefore expressly excluded in Section 2 of the Bundesrat's rules of procedure . A double mandate in the Federal Council and a state parliament, however, is the rule due to the composition of the Federal Council.

Situation in other countries


Until 1873, dual mandates were allowed at the provincial and federal level and it was common for lower house members to hold a mandate in their respective provincial parliaments at the same time. Then the practice was ended by federal law.

Occasionally it even happened that politicians in several constituencies as candidates to increase their electoral chances and may have been elected in several constituencies, which they held a dual mandate in a single parliament. However, since they usually only had one vote in votes, it was customary to resign one of the mandates, which resulted in a by-election in the constituency concerned.

Simultaneous membership in the House of Commons and the Senate has not been envisaged since the beginning of the confederation .

See also


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Scientific services of the German Bundestag (ed.): The cooperation between the Bundestag and state parliaments . 2017 ( [PDF]).
  4. ^ Application: No double mandates in the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia. AfD parliamentary group NRW, October 8, 2018, accessed on October 16, 2018 .
  5. Christoph Ullrich: Forbid double mandates for the state parliament: AfD flashes off . October 11, 2018 ( [accessed October 16, 2018]).
  6. ^ Gabriela M. Sierck / Scientific Services of the German Bundestag (November 2005): Incompatibilities with the Bundestag mandate
  7. Jump up for Storch: AfD boss Meuthen becomes EU parliamentarian , Spiegel Online, November 7, 2017
  8. AfD man Widenmeyer moves into the state parliament: A free church member succeeds Meuthen ,, December 20, 2017