The conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has hopes of winning regional elections in Berlin for the first time since 1999. In the image from January 23, 2023, a poster with CDU candidate for mayor Kai Wegner.
Berlin – The 2.4 million Berliners over the age of 18 can decide on the new regional government of the German capital today in repeated elections. The vote is being held following an order by Berlin's Constitutional Court, which said the previous election in September 2021 was so chaotic and problematic that it had to be repeated.
Polling stations opened at 08:00 and will close at 18:00, when the first estimates will be published. Results are expected a few hours later. Polls give the opposition conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) the best chances, which could win the regional elections in Berlin for the first time since 1999.
Finding a political ally will be difficult for the CDU after the election, as the Social Democrats (SPD) of current mayor Franziska Giffey, along with the coalition Greens and the post-communist Left party, indicate they could continue in government. According to polls, the SPD will finish in second place behind the CDU.
During the elections in September 2021, long lines formed in front of the polling stations in Berlin, in which people waited for several hours. Back then, people stood in queues even after the official end of the elections. Ballots were missing from the polling stations and the commission did not have the correct voter lists available. In addition to poor organization, the holding of the marathon contributed to the problems, due to which there were numerous closures in the city.
The Electoral Commission now assures that the city will hold model elections. The previous ones were held simultaneously with local referenda and also with federal elections, now Berliners only choose new representatives of the Berlin regional Chamber of Deputies and also new members of local councils. and also citizens of the European Union, if they are registered for residence in the German capital.