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A substitute is a member of the German Bundestag , a state parliament , the European Parliament , or in principle all other bodies, who takes over the mandate of a member who is leaving the body or is surprisingly unavailable after the election.

In the case of federal elections, the successor is the first to appear on the state list of the federal state of the respective party for which the resigned MP held the mandate who is not yet a member of the Bundestag. In elections in which the applicants are elected according to their number of votes, the candidate who has not yet been elected and who received the highest number of votes in the election is also placed on a list.

If, in the Bundestag election, the state list of the party of an outgoing constituency member received fewer seats than their candidates won direct mandates, the vacant mandate was not filled again after a ruling ( successor ruling ) by the Federal Constitutional Court . The number of overhang mandates and thus the total number of members of the Bundestag decreased accordingly. There is currently no basis for this regulation, since compensation seats have been allocated for overhang seats since the 2013 federal election .

Rotation principle among the Greens

In an attempt to prevent or make more difficult the emergence of professional politicians , the Greens sent their representatives to parliament with the corresponding number of successors in their initial phase, especially in the 10th legislative period of the German Bundestag ( rotation principle ). They should work as advisors and replace the MPs in the middle of the legislative period. These in turn should then remain in the parliamentary group as advisors for the rest of the legislative period. This group of factions called the Greens Bundestag group and accordingly in the state parliaments Landtag group .

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