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Justice Minister calls for five year parliamentary terms

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Justice Minister calls for five year parliamentary terms
Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (left) is calling for longer terms. Photo: DPA
11:58 CET+01:00
Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has called for Germany’s parliamentary terms to be lengthened from four to five years, the daily Rheinischen Post reported Saturday.

“A longer legislature period would promise more continuity and allow bigger projects to be better handled,” Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, from the pro-business Free Democrats, told the paper.

Experience showed that in the last year of an election cycle, new ideas often weren’t given full and mature thought, she said.

Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is a senior political player who was also justice minister under former Chancellor Helmut Kohl between 1992 and 1996.

An extension of the term of the Bundestag, Germany's lower house, has been canvassed in the past. Bundestag President Norbert Lammert has repeatedly demanded an amendment to the constitution to increase the term, arguing it would improve the parliament’s ability to get things done.

Lammert used his opening address to the new parliament on October 30 to raise the issue, pointing out that some German states and the EU parliament had five year terms.

Britain and France’s parliaments are elected for five years, while the US House of Representatives has two-year terms the US Senate six-year terms. Australia’s federal parliamentarians are elected for just three.

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