World, Europe

Migrants seek better representation in Germany’s parliament

Nearly 25% of Germany’s population has migration background, but only 8% of lawmakers are from migrant communities

Ayhan Simsek   | 09.09.2021
Migrants seek better representation in Germany’s parliament A general view from the German parliament 'Bundestag' in Berlin, Germany ( FILE PHOTO - Anadolu Agency )

BERLIN

Germany’s migrant communities are demanding better representation at the political level as the country’s election campaign is heading into the final weeks.

Gokay Sofuoglu, the chairman of the Turkish Community in Germany (TGD), said political parties should do more to promote diversity in politics, by encouraging migrants to participate in political life, opening more positions to migrant candidates.

“People with migration background have long been underrepresented in the German parliament. And only a limited number of migrant politicians have been in key positions,” Sofuoglu told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.

Nearly 25% of Germany’s population has a migration background, but they only have 58 representatives at the Bundestag, which corresponds to about 8% of all lawmakers.

Sofuoglu said more migrant candidates are running in the Sept. 26 national elections, as the parties are trying to win votes of migrant communities.

“I am hopeful that after the elections we will have more lawmakers with migration background. Because this time more candidates from migrant communities are placed higher on the election lists submitted by the parties,” he said.

Nearly 7 million German citizens with migration background are entitled to vote in the federal elections and this accounts for more than 10% of all eligible voters.

Pro-migrant organization Citizens for Europe (CFE) has released a new report on Thursday and underlined that migrant communities represent a significant electoral potential for the parties.

According to the report, in 167 of the 299 constituencies in Germany, voters with a migration background "could make the difference" in determining who will win the direct mandate for the Bundestag.

“For political parties, people with migration background represent a significant electoral potential if they adapt their offerings and their national election lists for the increasingly diverse electorate,” the report said.

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