The Electoral System in Germany

Experts from Malaysia explore the electoral system in Germany in order to gain ideas to reform their own system.
FNF Delegation Malaysia
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

After the 14th General Election in Malaysia, there is a cry for change of the current electoral system. The government has formed a special committee, the Electoral Reform Committee, to review election laws and the election system in Malaysia as well as to make recommendations on how to reform the Malaysian electoral laws and system. The committee is, therefore, currently reviewing electoral systems and best practices in other democratic nations which have reached a suitable standard and possess an election management system based on democratic principles in order to recommend the establishment of laws that are up to the international standards of election management.

The committee will study the need to have a law to empower the electoral management body to register and regulate political organizations and parties.

In order to support the efforts of the Malaysian Electoral Reform Committee, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) organized a visiting program for delegates of this committee. The program took place from 31 March until 6 April 2019 in Berlin and Potsdam. During this time, the delegates had the possibility to exchange with various representatives of key institutions of the German electoral system. So they had the chance to discuss the organization of elections on EU, federal as well as state level with a representative of the Office of the Federal Returning Officer as well as with the State Returning Officer of the state of Berlin. Their visit at the Federal Agency for Civic Education focused on questions regarding voters and civic education. One of the highlights for the participants was the visit to the Reichstag including the exchange with German Members of Parliament of the FDP parliamentary group as well as representatives of the administration of the Bundestag. They also had the chance to profit from the knowledge of the Venice Commission and discussed the international standards in the electoral fields, including election administration, political parties and the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters.

The delegation was excited and extremely motivated and returned to Malaysia with a profound understanding of the German electoral system and a lot of impressions and ideas supporting them in their task of reforming the Malaysian electoral systems.