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Bundestag(bo͝on`dĕstäkh'), lower house of the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is a popularly elected body that elects the chancellor, passes all legislation (subject to executive veto on budget matters), and ratifies the most important treaties. It can remove the chancellor in a vote of no confidence by electing a new chancellor, but can be dissolved by the President if deadlocked on a new government. The upper house of the parliament, the Bundesrat [federal council] cannot be dissolved, represents the states (Länder), and receives all government draft legislation before the Bundestag. Its approval is required for most laws.
highest representative body of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Bundestag is elected for four years. (Half of the deputies are elected in one-member constituencies, the other half on party lists presented in each Land.) The social composition of the Bundestag is characterized by a predominance of industry magnates and representatives of party and state bureaucracies. Three parties are represented in the Bundestag elected in 1969—the Christian Democratic Union, the Social Democratic Party, and the Free Democratic Party. In an emergency situation the Bundestag may be replaced by a so-called joint committee composed of 33 deputies of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat.