What exactly is a vote of confidence

Vote of confidence

The vote of confidence is a government instrument used to discipline parliament. The head of government takes the initiative when it comes to the vote of confidence and thus checks whether parliament is still fundamentally in agreement with the government's position. The vote of confidence does not come from the Federal Chancellor like the vote of no confidence.

The vote of confidence in the Federal Republic of Germany

The possibility of asking a vote of confidence is laid down in Article 68 of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany. In contrast to the vote of no confidence, the vote on confidence in the government does not take place by secret ballot. The vote on Parliament's confidence in the Chancellor must take place 48 hours after the vote of confidence.

Legal consequences in the event of a negative outcome

If the vote of confidence is answered in the negative by parliament, the Federal Chancellor is initially not obliged to react to it. He has the option to continue the government as before or to form a new coalition. It is also possible to ask the Federal President to dissolve the Bundestag and initiate new elections. The latter can accept or reject the Federal Chancellor's request. The dissolution of the Bundestag must take place within 21 days of the request. In addition, the Federal Chancellor has the option of applying to the Federal President for a legislative emergency. The Federal President cannot decide on this alone, but has to consult the Federal Council. The Bundestag must not be dissolved if the Federal Chancellor applies for a legislative emergency. In addition to the options already mentioned, the Federal Chancellor can also resign.

The vote of confidence was last asked in 2005 by the then Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. He wanted to provoke new elections in this way and be confirmed in office, but he did not succeed.

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See also: Bundestag election, vote of no confidence, Federal Chancellor


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