The Free State
Politics in Bavaria
The Bavarian State Parliament
The Bavarian State Parliament resides in the Maxmilianeum, a building rich in tradition built on the banks of River Isar by King Maximilian II in the 19th century. The 187 members of parliament are elected for a period of five years by the Bavarian population. In the last parliamentary election in 2008, the CSU won 92 seats, the SPD 39, the "Freien Wähler" 21, the Greens 19 and the FDP 16. The State Parliament has two primary duties: it elects and supervises the State Government and it debates and passes laws. In addition to laws passed by parliament, there is also a direct form of democracy, in the shape of laws passed directly by the citizens of Bavaria by means of petitions for referendums and plebiscites.
The Bavarian State Government
The Bavarian State Government consists of the Prime Minister, 11 Ministers and 6 Secretaries of State. The Prime Minister is elected for a period of five years by the State Parliament. With the approval of the State Parliament he appoints the members of the State Government. The State Government comprises ministries for home affairs, justice, education and the arts, science, finance, economic affairs, agriculture, employment, social affairs, the environment, and health. The Prime Minster heads the State Government and represents Bavaria at home and abroad. His seat is the State Chancellery overlooking the Hofgarten in Munich, where the cabinet meetings also take place. The building combines contemporary steel and glass architecture with the impressive domed construction of the former Army Museum of 1905 and in this way successfully combines the traditional and the modern - just like Bavaria itself.
The Free State and the Local Authorities
In Bavaria politics is not concentrated purely on the capital. Of course important political institutions such as the Bavarian State Parliament, the State Government and the Bavarian Constitutional Court have their seats in Munich, but political processes also take place in the seven regions in Bavaria, in the 71 administrative districts and the 25 towns and cities forming their own districts, and in the 2,031 local authorities. The independence of local authorities ranks very high in Bavaria. Elected representatives are active in all the various councils, from the city councils down to the local councils, deciding about matters of importance in their district, such as schools and day-care centres or planning and building laws and regulations. This strengthens their autonomy and ensures that proper decisions are taken locally and with the interests of the inhabitants at heart.
The Prime Ministers of Bavaria
|Dr. Wilhelm Hoegner||1945-46 and 1954-57|
|Dr. Hans Ehard||1946-54 and 1960-62|
|Dr. Hanns Seidel||1957-60|
|Dr. h.c. Alfons Goppel||1962-78|
|Dr. h.c. Franz Josef Strauss||1978-1988|
|Dr. h.c. Max Streibl||1988-93|
|Dr. Edmund Stoiber||1993-2007|
|Dr. Günther Beckstein||2007-2008|
|Horst Seehofer||since 2008|