East German general election, 1990

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East German general election, 1990
East Germany
1986 ←
18 March 1990 (1990-03-18) → 1990

All 400 seats in the Volkskammer
201 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Lothar de Maizière 2011.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1990-0222-016, Leipzig, SPD-Parteitag, Ibrahim Böhme.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1989-1117-431, Hans Modrow, Dr..jpg
Leader Lothar de Maizière Ibrahim Böhme Hans Modrow
Last election 52 seats 127 seats
Seats before 52 127
Seats won 163 88 66
Seat change Increase111 Increase88 Decrease61
Popular vote 6,139,450 3,295,440 2,467,818
Percentage 40.8% 21.9% 16.4%

Volkskammerwahl 1990 Parteiergebnisse in den Kreisen.png

Maps showing the distribution of party votes per district.
The map in the bottom right shows the largest party in each district.

Ministerpräsident before election

Hans Modrow

Resulting Ministerpräsident

Lothar de Maizière

Legislative elections were held in East Germany on 18 March 1990. It was the first—and as it turned out, only—free parliamentary election in the GDR, and the first truly free election held in that part of Germany since 1933. A total of 400 deputies were elected to the Volkskammer.

The largest bloc was the opposition Alliance for Germany, led by the East German branch of the Christian Democratic Union and running on a platform of speedy reunification with the West. The runner-up was the East German branch of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, which had only been refounded six months earlier. The former Socialist Unity Party of Germany, renamed the Party of Democratic Socialism, ran in a free election for the first time ever and finished in third place.

On 5 April 1990, the new Volkskammer elected the CDU's Sabine Bergmann-Pohl as its president; as the State Council was at the same time dissolved, she became East Germany's interim head of state. Lothar de Maizière (CDU) became prime minister, heading a grand coalition consisting of the CDU, the SDP, the FDP, the German Social Union (DSU) and one non-attached member.[1]

On 20 September of the same year, the parliament voted to dissolve East Germany and to unify its territory with the Federal Republic of Germany, thus ending the state's 40-year existence. The unification treaty was approved on a 442–47 vote by the Bundestag and by a 299–80 margin in the Volkskammer, and took effect on 3 October.[2]


Party Votes % Seats
Alliance for Germany Christian Democratic Union 4,710,598 40.8 163
German Social Union 727,730 6.3 25
Democratic Awakening 106,146 0.9 4
Total 5,544,474 48.0 192
Social Democratic Party 2,525,534 21.9 88
Party of Democratic Socialism 1,892,381 16.4 66
Association of Free Democrats 608,935 5.3 21
Alliance 90 336,074 2.9 12
Democratic Farmers' Party 251,226 2.2 9
Green PartyIndependent Women's League 226,932 2.0 8
National Democratic Party 44,292 0.4 2
Democratic Women's League 38,192 0.3 1
United Left 20,342 0.2 1
Other parties 52,773 0.5 0
Invalid/blank votes 33,263
Total 11,541,155 100 400
Registered voters/turnout 12,426,443 93.4
Source: Pridham & Vanhanen,[3] Nohlen & Stöver,[4] IPU


  1. ^ "History of German parliamentarianism: 1949–89: Volkskammer of the GDR (East-Germany)". German Bundestag. 2008-11-19. 
  2. ^ "Politics in Germany: The Online Edition". University of California, Irvine. 2008-11-19. 
  3. ^ Geoffrey Pridham, Tatu Vanhanen. Democratization in Eastern Europe Routledge, 1994. ISBN 0-415-11063-7 pp. 135
  4. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p779 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7