Infobox Legislature Historic
name = Volkskammer
German Democratic Republic(East Germany)
type = Unicameral
houses = 1
members = 400
Palast der Republik
year = 1949
year2 = 1991
before = Reichstag
notes = A legislature in name only, actual legislating was done by the SED's
The Volkskammer ("People's Chamber") was the unicameral
legislatureof the German Democratic Republic ( East Germany). From its founding in 1949until the first free elections on 18 March 1990, all members of the "Volkskammer" were elected on a slate controlled by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany(SED), called the National Front. Despite the appearance of a multi-party system, all opposition parties were effectively controlled by the dominant SED. In addition, seats were also allocated to various mass organizations affiliated with the SED, such as the Free German Youth.
On paper, the "Volkskammer" had great power, appointing the Councils of State and Ministers, and the Chairman of the National Defence Council. However, the "Volkskammer" had little real power, and parties were expected to respect
democratic centralism, with the most dissent in voting ever shown by Parliament to the SED were fourteen nays and eight abstentions on the part of CDU representatives in a vote on liberalising abortionlaw.
A typical slate was as follows:
Party/Group Acronym Members Socialist Unity Party of Germany SED 127 Free German Trade Union Federation FDGB 68 Christian Democratic Union CDU 52 Liberal Democratic Party of Germany LDPD 52 Democratic Farmers' Party of Germany DBD 52 National Democratic Party of Germany NDPD 52 Free German Youth FDJ 50 Democratic Women's League of Germany DFD 35 Cultural Association of the DDR KB 22
In 1976, the "Volkskammer" moved into a specially-constructed building on Marx-Engels-Platz (now
Schloßplatzagain), the Palast der Republik(Palace of the Republic).
After the 1990 elections, the disposition of the parties was as follows
Party/Group Acronym Members Alliance for Germany CDU, DA, DSU 192 Social Democratic Party of Germany SPD 88 Party of Democratic Socialism PDS, former SED 66 Association of Free Democrats DFP, FDP, LDP 21 Alliance 90 B90 12 East German Green Party and Independent Women's Association Grüne, UFV 8 National Democratic Party of Germany NDPD 2 Democratic Women's League of Germany DFD 1 United Left VL 1
Chairmen of the People's Chamber
* [http://www.archive.org/details/ASuccessfulPolicySearedtotheNeedsofthePeople "A Successful Policy Seared to the Needs of the People" "Deliberations" of the "Volkskammer" on nuclear disarmament, 1981.]
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