The Government of Germany

The Government of Germany

German Government

Country name: conventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany conventional short form: Germany local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland local short form: Deutschland former: German Empire, German Republic, German Reich

Government type: federal republic

Capital: name: Berlin geographic coordinates: 52 31 N, 13 24 E time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions: 16 states (Laender, singular - Land); Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bayern (Bavaria), Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate), Saarland, Sachsen (Saxony), Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt), Schleswig-Holstein, Thueringen (Thuringia); note - Bayern, Sachsen, and Thueringen refer to themselves as free states (Freistaaten, singular - Freistaat)

Independence: 18 January 1871 (German Empire unification); divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and later, France) in 1945 following World War II; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed 23 May 1949 and included the former UK, US, and French zones; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone; West Germany and East Germany unified 3 October 1990; all four powers formally relinquished rights 15 March 1991

National holiday: Unity Day, 3 October (1990)

Constitution: 23 May 1949, known as Basic Law; became constitution of the united Germany 3 October 1990

Legal system: civil law system with indigenous concepts; judicial review of legislative acts in the Federal Constitutional Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: President Horst KOEHLER (since 1 July 2004) head of government: Chancellor Angela MERKEL (since 22 November 2005) cabinet: Cabinet or Bundesminister (Federal Ministers) appointed by the president on the recommendation of the chancellor elections: president elected for a five-year term (eligible for a second term) by a Federal Convention, including all members of the Federal Assembly and an equal number of delegates elected by the state parliaments; election last held 23 May 2004 (next scheduled for 23 May 2009); chancellor elected by an absolute majority of the Federal Assembly for a four-year term; Bundestag vote for Chancellor last held 22 November 2005 (next will follow the national elections to be held by 27 September 2009) election results: Horst KOEHLER elected president; received 604 votes of the Federal Convention against 589 for Gesine SCHWAN; Angela MERKEL elected chancellor; vote by Federal Assembly 397 to 202 with 12 abstentions

Legislative branch: bicameral legislature consists of the Federal Council or Bundesrat (69 votes; state governments sit in the Council; each has three to six votes in proportion to population and are required to vote as a block)and the Federal Assembly or Bundestag (614 seats; members elected by popular vote for a four-year term under a system of personalized proportional representation; a party must win 5% of the national vote or three direct mandates to gain proportional representation and caucus recognition) elections: Bundestag - last held on 18 September 2005 (next to be held no later than autumn 2009); note - there are no elections for the Bundesrat; composition is determined by the composition of the state-level governments; the composition of the Bundesrat has the potential to change any time one of the 16 states holds an election election results: Bundestag - percent of vote by party - CDU/CSU 35.2%, SPD 34.3%, FDP 9.8%, Left 8.7%, Greens 8.1%, other 3.9%; seats by party - CDU/CSU 225, SPD 222, FDP 61, Left 53, Greens 51, independents 2

Judicial branch: Federal Constitutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht (half the judges are elected by the Bundestag and half by the Bundesrat)

Political parties and leaders: Alliance '90/Greens [Claudia ROTH and Cem OEZDEMIR]; Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Angela MERKEL]; Christian Social Union or CSU [Horst SEEHOFER]; Free Democratic Party or FDP [Guido WESTERWELLE]; Left Party or Die Linke [Lothar BISKY and Oskar LAFONTAINE]; Social Democratic Party or SPD [Franz MUENTEFERING]

Political pressure groups and leaders: other: business associations and employers' organizations; religious, trade unions, immigrant, expellee, and veterans groups

International organization participation: ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-20, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (nonregional), WCO, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Klaus SCHARIOTH chancery: 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007 telephone: [1] (202) 298-4000 FAX: [1] (202) 298-4249 consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires John KOENIG embassy: Pariser Platz 2, 10117 Berlin; note - new embassy opened 4 July 2008 mailing address: PSC 120, Box 1000, APO AE 09265, Clayallee 170, 14195 Berlin telephone: [49] (030) 2385174 FAX: [49] (030) 8305-1215 consulate(s) general: Duesseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold

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