Number of German MPs with immigration background rises

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30 Sep, 2009 Updated Wed 30 Sep 2009 16:22 CEST
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Germany’s newly elected parliament has 15 MPs with foreign roots – more than ever before, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Wednesday.


The last parliament had 11 representatives with what Germans call “immigration background.”

The most multicultural MPs belong to the environmentalist Green party, which has five, including Iranian-born Omid Nouripour, who entered his second term after Sunday's election.

Meanwhile the centre-left Social Democrats have four, and the socialist Left Party now has three.

For the first time, the pro-business Free Democrats, who are also Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats’ preferred coalition partner, also have two new MPs with foreign roots – Turkish-German Serkan Tören and Iranian-born Bijan Djir-Sarai.

Meanwhile Merkel’s CDU parliamentarians include Michaela Noll, whose father is Iranian.

“The clear growth to 15 mirrors the growing weight of immigrants among voters,” the paper reported, adding that some 5.6 million German residents with foreign roots have the right to vote.

But the country’s largest group of immigrants, those from Eastern Europe, are not represented in the Bundestag, though some 2.5 million can vote in Germany, the paper said.

Many parties searched for candidates with Turkish background due to the country’s large population, but interest was limited, according to the paper. Germany's most famous Turkish-German politician, Green party member Cem Özdemir, is co-leader of the party and thus not a member of parliament.



2009/09/30 16:22

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