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Free, equal, general, anonymous and direct – these are the principles, anchored in the State Constitution. In Saxony-Anhalt citizens decide every five years about the constellation of the State Parliament.
When electing the State Parliament, each person that is entitled to vote, has two votes, the so called primary vote and secondary vote. The primary vote stands for a certain delegate in his own electoral district. The secondary vote stands for the preferred party. Therefore there are two ways a delegate can be chosen into the parliament. Either they win their mandate by a majority of votes in their own electoral district or via the place on their party’s list.
According to the electoral law, Saxony-Anhalt has 43 electoral districts. That means: In March 2016, at the latest state election, 43 delegates were voted into the State Parliament per direct mandate, the remaining 44 delegates by the party list.
Basically, each adult citizen (18 years and above), who has his main residence in Saxony-Anhalt (at least six months before election day) can run as a candidate. Special education or political studies are not required. Nevertheless, many delegates were already active in their city council or their municipality or in their county council, before being active in state politics.