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the compulsory instructions by voters to their deputy in a representative body. In the socialist countries imperative mandates are a basic factor defining relations between the deputies and the voters. If a deputy does not follow the mandate of his voters and loses their confidence or if his behavior is unworthy of the rank of deputy, he may be recalled.
In the capitalist states deputies are not bound by any legal obligations to their voters; formally they are considered representatives of the entire nation, not of the election districts from which they were elected. As a rule there is no procedure for recalling deputies, and the deputy’s mandate is not imperative. A number of capitalist constitutions (for example, the French Constitution of 1958, art. 27) directly prohibit imperative mandates. The Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany (art. 38) specifies that deputies to the Bundestag are not bound by mandates or commissions and answer only to their own consciences. A similar provision is contained in the constitutions and laws of other countries, including Denmark and Finland.