Political System and Government
The Federal Republic of Germany is a democratic, federal and social constitutional state. Together with the basic rights, these principles form the inviolable core of the constitution, adherence to which is guarded over by the Federal Constitutional Court.
The Federal Government and cabinet is made up of the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Ministers. While the Chancellor holds the power to issue directives, the ministers have departmental powers, meaning that they independently run their respective ministries in the framework of those directives.
More than 60 million German voters headed to the polls on Sunday, September 22, 2013, to elect the representatives of the 18th Bundestag, the German parliament. Based on the results, two or more political parties will form an alliance to build a governing majority and to elect a Chancellor.
The Basic Law is the legal and political foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Basic Law ties the legislative process to the constitutional order and binds state administration to uphold the law. Section 1 defines the Basic Rights.
The Basic Law defines the rights and duties of five state organs. The constitutional organs are the Bundestag, the Bundesrat, the Federal President, the Federal Government and the Federal Constitutional Court.
The Federal Republic of Germany consists of 16 federal states. Historically, they were preceded by more than twice as many kingdoms, principalities and small manorial towns. To this day, Germans, be they from Bavaria, Saxony, Friesia or Hesse, bring this history to life with their many dialects and traditions.