Section IV: The Government

Article 55

(1) The functions of government shall be exercised by the Senate.

(2) The Senate shall consist of the Governing Mayor and a maximum of ten other Senate members.

Article 56

(1) The Governing Mayor shall be elected by an absolute majority of the members of the House of Representatives. If no absolute majority is achieved on the first ballot, a second ballot shall take place. If this, too, fails to achieve an absolute majority, the person who receives the most votes on a third ballot shall be elected.

(2) The Senators shall be appointed and removed by the Governing Mayor. Two Senators shall be appointed by the Governing Mayor to serve as his/her deputies (Mayors).

(3) The members of the Senate may resign from office at any time. The term of office of all the members of the Senate ends when the Governing Mayor’s tenure ends. The Governing Mayor and, at his/her request, the other members of the Senate shall be obliged to carry on their duties until their successors have taken office.

Article 57

(1) The Governing Mayor shall require the confidence of the House of Representatives.

(2) The House of Representatives may withdraw its confidence from the Governing Mayor. The roll-call vote may be held at the earliest 48 hours after the motion of no confidence has been announced in the House of Representatives.

(3) The resolution regarding a motion of no confidence shall require the consent of the majority of the elected members of the House of Representatives. If a motion of no confidence is carried, the Governing Mayor shall resign at once. The vote of no confidence shall become ineffective unless a new ballot is held within 21 days.

Article 58

(1) The Governing Mayor shall represent Berlin externally. He/she shall preside over the Senate and chair its meetings. In the event of a tie he/she shall have the casting vote.

(2) The Governing Mayor shall determine government policy guidelines. These shall be subject to the approval of the House of Representatives.

(3) The Governing Mayor shall monitor compliance with government policy guidelines; he/she shall have the right to demand information regarding all official business.

(4) The Senate shall lay down its own Rules of Procedure.

(5) Within the guidelines laid down by government policy, each member of the Senate shall run his/her department independently and on his/her own responsibility. The Senate shall decide on divergent opinions, or upon the application of the Governing Mayor.