08 May 2008

Bavarian Politics for Dummies

Bavaria is one of 16 states that make up the Federal Republic of Germany.

Bavarian politics is dominated by the Christian Social Union (CSU), a centre-right sister party of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the party of current Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Since 1946 the CSU has only been out of power in Bavaria for three years, and has been in power continuously since 1957. The current Prime Minister is Dr. Günther Beckstein. The CSU is also represented in the Federal Parliament since the CDU does not put up candidates in Bavaria and, when the CDU is in power, is represented in the Federal Government.

Munich is the capital of Bavaria. In Munich the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) is strongest. Currently, city hall is run by a red-green coalition of the SPD and The Greens. The SPD mayor, Christian Ude, was recently re-elected for the third time, each time with a greater share of the vote. Since 1948 all but one of the mayors of Munich have come from the SPD.

The Maximilianeum in Munich, home of the Bavarian State Parliament

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