Local electoral law (Rhineland-Palatinate)
In the state of Rhineland-Palatinate , general municipal elections take place every five years , in which, in addition to the members of the municipal councils and the district councils, the honorary city and local mayors are elected. In towns the local councils are named City Council, at the administrative level municipality they are local council called. If there are local districts in cities or municipalities , the local advisory councils and the local councilors are also elected. In addition, the members of the district assembly are also newly elected in the Pfalz district association. Since the introduction of the European elections ( 1979 ), the elections have taken place on the same day as these.
The mayors of the municipalities and of the cities and municipalities not included in the association, the mayors of the municipalities and cities belonging to the greater district as well as the district administrators are elected directly every eight years . As far as possible, they will also be elected on the day of the general local elections.
The local elections are conducted according to the principles of general, equal, secret, direct and free elections.
Active right to vote (right to vote)
All Germans and all citizens of other member states of the European Union who are 18 years old on election day and have had their main residence in the electoral district for at least three months can participate in the election to the municipal representative bodies (Section 1 KWG). In addition, there must be no exclusion from voting rights (Section 2 KWG). Citizens of the other member states of the European Union are not entitled to vote and cannot be elected for the Palatinate District Assembly (Section 56 KWG).
Passive right to vote (eligibility)
Any person entitled to vote who has reached the age of majority on the day of the election (Section 4 KWG) can be elected.
Eligible for mayor is anyone who has reached the age of 23 on the day of the election (Section 53 GemO).
A person who has reached the age of 65 on the day of the election (Section 53 GemO) cannot be elected full-time mayor.
Election day and election time
The elections for the municipal representative bodies take place from April 1st to June 30th every fifth year following 1974. The state government sets the election day (Section 71 KWG).
City and local councils
Organs of a municipality are the municipality council and the mayor. The municipal council uses the designation city council in the cities (§ 28 GemO).
Each voter has as many votes as there are council members to be elected (§ 32, 33 KWG). The election officer is the mayor of the municipality (Section 7 KWG).
Number of council members
The number of council members in the city and municipal councils as well as in the association councils depends on the number of inhabitants (main residence) of the local authority as of June 30 of the previous year of the election (Section 29 GemO).
Personalized proportional representation
The order of the election proposals of the parties and voter groups on the ballot papers is based on the order of the number of state votes obtained in the last state election, otherwise according to the number of votes obtained in the last local election. Parties or groups of voters who have not yet been represented follow in the alphabetical order of the password (Section 24 KWG).
The voter has several options to vote according to the number of council members to be elected:
- He can choose the list he prefers as a whole and thus assigns all his votes to the first of the applicants on the list. If there are fewer applicants in the selected list than there are votes available, the remaining votes expire.
- He can give individual applicants up to three votes ( cumulate ), he can also delete individual applicants from a selected list.
- He is not bound to a list, he can distribute ( variegate ) his available votes to individual applicants in all lists (parties ).
In contrast to majority voting, however, only applicants whose names are listed on the voting slip can be elected (Section 32 KWG).
The votes in personalized proportional representation were counted using the Hare-Niemeyer procedure until 2009 ; the Sainte-Laguë / Schepers procedure (Section 41 KWG) has been in force since 2014, as is the case with the state , Bundestag and European elections .
In the 2014 local elections, personalized proportional representation took place in 884 cities and municipalities; in 2009 there were 969 cities and municipalities.
If only one nomination has been accepted, the voter can vote for the applicants proposed in the nomination or add the names of other eligible persons or delete individual names and replace them with other names (Section 33 KWG).
If no nomination has been submitted or approved, the voter has the option of entering as many names of eligible persons as there are council members to be elected on an empty official ballot paper (Section 33 KWG).
In the case of a majority vote, the eligible persons are elected in the order of the votes cast for them. In the event of a tie, the lot to be drawn by the chairman of the election committee (Section 43 KWG) decides.
The majority vote is relatively common in smaller local parishes. In the 2014 local elections, a majority vote took place in 1,421 local communities (around 62%). In the majority of these local parishes (1,126), the election took place without nominations.
Election of mayor
The mayors (honorary local or city mayors of the municipalities and cities that are members of the association; full-time mayors of the municipalities and cities not included in the association ; full -time mayors of the municipalities ; full-time mayors of the independent and large-scale cities ) are directly elected by the citizens of the majority vote. Whoever receives more than half of the valid votes is elected. This also applies if only one nomination has been accepted. If no applicant receives this majority, there will be a runoff election among the two applicants who received the highest number of votes in the first election. In the event of a tie, the lot decides who will be in the runoff election (Section 53 GemO).
If no applicant stands for election, the mayor is elected by the municipal council in a public session by ballot in a secret ballot (§§ 40, 53 GemO).
Anyone who is a German or a citizen of another Member State of the European Union who is resident in the electoral area and who has reached the age of 23 on the day of the election (Section 53 GemO) can be elected as mayor.
A person who has reached the age of 65 on the day of the election (Section 53 GemO) cannot be elected full-time mayor.
Incompatibility of office and mandate
To avoid conflicts of interest , council members must not be civil servants or employees of the same municipality or of the association to which the municipality belongs. The same applies to paid activities in associations and in companies in which the municipalities are involved (Section 5 KWG).
Anyone who has been elected as a member of the municipal council and has accepted the election may not be the honorary mayor of the municipality at the same time. If a member of the municipal council is appointed honorary mayor, he or she resigns as an elected councilor upon his appointment from the municipal council (§ 5 KWG).
Voluntary mayor is not allowed to be someone who is in the service of the municipality or the responsible association municipality for a fee. The same applies to associations under public law of which the municipality is a member and to societies in which the municipality has a stake of at least 50%. Furthermore, the honorary mayor may not be directly entrusted with the tasks of state supervision of the municipality or the supra-local examination of the municipality. (§ 53 GemO)
The number of district council members to be elected depends on the number of inhabitants as of June 30 of the previous year (Section 22 LKO):
|up to60,000 inhabitants||34 members|
|up to80,000 inhabitants||38 members|
|up to 125,000 inhabitants||42 members|
|up to 150,000 inhabitants||46 members|
|more than 150,000 inhabitants||50 members|
The district council members are elected for a period of five years on the general election date. With regard to the electoral process (personalized proportional representation), the provisions on municipal council elections apply (Section 22 LKO).
The civil servants working for the district administration and the employees (unless they do predominantly physical work) of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate cannot belong to the district council at the same time (Section 53 GemO).
The district administrator leads the election in the district (Section 53 GemO).
Election of district administrators
The district administrator works full-time, the term of office is eight years (§ 45 LKO). The position of the district administrator is to be advertised at the latest on the 69th day before the election . The district administrator is directly elected by the citizens of the district according to the principles of majority voting. With regard to any runoff elections, the same rules apply as for mayoral elections (Section 46 LKO).
Anyone who is a German or a citizen of another member state of the European Union who is resident in the Federal Republic of Germany and who has reached the age of 23 on the day of the election is eligible for election to the district administrator. Anyone who has reached the age of 65 on the day of the election cannot be elected as district administrator. If no valid application has been submitted by the citizens for the election of the district council, the district council will elect the district council (§ 46 LKO).
District day of the District Association of the Palatinate
The members of the district assembly are elected by the residents of the district association who are entitled to vote for a period of five years. The number of members of the district assembly is 29 (§ 5 BezO).
In contrast to the elections of the council members in the city and local councils or the district council members, the voter only has one vote and has to decide on an election proposal from a party or a group of voters. Cumulating and spreading is not possible.
The election officer is the incumbent chairman of the district assembly (Section 56 KWG).
The district assembly forms a district committee from among its members. The district assembly elects the chairman and two deputy chairpersons of the district assembly from the members of the district committee. The chairman and the deputy chairmen of the district assembly are honorary officials of the district association (§ 8, 10 BezO).
In order to promote local community life, parishes can divide their area in whole or in part into local districts. The local districts have a local advisory board and a local councilor. The main statute of the community determines the number of members of the local council; the number of members should be at least three and at most 15. In smaller local districts, the election of a local advisory board can be dispensed with (Section 74 GemO).
The members of the local council are elected by the citizens of the local district, with regard to the electoral procedure (proportional representation, majority voting), the provisions on municipal council elections apply (Section 75 GemO).
The mayors are directly elected in accordance with the provisions applicable to the election of honorary mayors (Section 76 GemO).
The mayor is the polling officer (Section 57 KWG).
Results of previous local elections
City council elections for independent cities and district council elections (1989 to 2019 = "weighted results"):
|Election year||Eligible voters||Participation||CDU||SPD||FDP||GREEN||LEFT||AfD||Others|
- Rhineland-Palatinate Local Election Act (KWG)
- Municipality code of Rhineland-Palatinate (GemO)
- The Regional Officer of Rhineland-Palatinate: Information for eligible voters ( Memento of the original from April 13, 2014 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, 2296 kB)
- The Regional Officer Rhineland-Palatinate: Amendments to the municipal electoral law ( Memento of the original from April 7, 2014 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, 468 kB)
- The Regional Returning Officer Rhineland-Palatinate: Eligible voters, nominations and candidacies ( Memento of the original from May 23, 2014 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. (PDF, 360 kB)
- Landkreisordnung Rheinland-Pfalz (LKO)
- District regulations for the District Association Palatinate (BezO)
- The State Officer Rhineland-Palatinate: Structure report on the European and local elections 2014 ( Memento of the original from April 13, 2014 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. , P. 10 (PDF, 1010 kB)