1949 East German Constitutional Assembly election

Elections for the Third German People's Congress were held in East Germany on 15 and 16 May 1949.[1] Voters were presented with a "Unity List" from the "Bloc of the Anti-Fascist Democratic Parties," which was dominated by the Communist-leaning Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED).[2] The ballot was worded "I am for the unity of Germany and a just peace treaty. I therefore vote for the following list of candidates for the Third German People's Congress,"[3] with voters having the options of voting "yes" and "no".[4] In much of the country, the vote was not secret.[5]

1949 East German general election

← 1938
(pre-partition)
15–16 May 1949 1950 →

1,525 seats in the German People's Congress
Turnout95.2%
  First party
  Fotothek df roe-neg 0002793 004 Portrait Wilhelm Piecks im Publikum der Bachfeier.jpg
Leader Wilhelm Pieck
Party SED
Alliance Democratic Bloc
Leader since 22 April 1946
Seats won 450

Chairman of the Council of Ministers after election

Otto Grotewohl
SED

According to official figures, 95.2% of voters voted, and 66% of them approved the list,[2] the lowest vote share an SED-dominated bloc received during the subsequent four decades of Communist rule. In all subsequent elections until the Peaceful Revolution, the National Front, successor to the Democratic Bloc, would win 99 percent or more of the vote.[5]

ResultsEdit

 
Party or allianceVotes%Seats
Democratic BlocSocialist Unity Party7,943,94966.07450
Christian Democratic Union225
Liberal Democratic Party225
Cooperatives100
Democratic Farmers' Party75
National Democratic Party75
Democratic Women's League50
Free German Trade Union Federation50
Free German Youth50
Cultural Association50
Peasants Mutual Aid Association50
Union of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime50
Social Democratic Party (East Berlin)25
Independents50
Against4,080,27233.93
Total12,024,221100.001,525
Valid votes12,024,22193.30
Invalid/blank votes863,0136.70
Total votes12,887,234100.00
Registered voters/turnout13,533,07195.23
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

AftermathEdit

The Constitutional Assembly adopted East Germany's first constitution in October, and proclaimed the establishment of the German Democratic Republic on 7 October. It then transformed itself into the first Volkskammer.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Dirk Spilker (2006) The East German Leadership and the Division of Germany: Patriotism and Propaganda 1945-1953, Clarendon Press, p184
  2. ^ a b Dieter Nohlen & Phillip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p771 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  3. ^ Die Republik der Partei at Die Zeit
  4. ^ Ballot paper Direct Democracy
  5. ^ a b Germany at Encyclopædia Britannica