The Bundestag (German pronunciation: [ËˆbÊŠndÉ™staËk], "Federal Diet") is a constitutional and legislative body at the federal level in Germany. For its similar function, it is often described as a lower house of parliament along the lines of the US House of Representatives and the Canadian or the British House of Commons. The German constitution, however, does not define the Bundestag and the Bundesrat as the lower and upper houses of a bicameral legislature.
The Bundestag was established by the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (Constitution) in 1949 as the Lower House of the German Federal Parliament and thus the historical successor to the earlier Reichstag.
Since 1999 it meets in the Reichstag Building in Berlin. Norbert Lammert is the current President of the Bundestag. Members (Abgeordnete) of the Bundestag are usually elected every four years by all adult German citizens in a mixed system of constituency voting and list voting. However, the election day can be earlier if the Federal Chancellor (Bundeskanzler) loses a vote of no confidence and asks the Federal President (BundesprÃ¤sident) to dissolve the Bundestag in order to hold new general elections.
In the 19th century the name Bundestag was the unofficial designation for the assembly of the sovereigns and mayors of the Monarchies and Free Cities which formed the German Confederation (1815-1866). Its seat was in the Free City of Frankfurt on the Main.