The Bavarian cabinet has lifted the age limit for local politicians. “Everyone is talking about a flexible extension of working life. Then that should also apply to district administrators and mayors. The age limit is out of date,” Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) wrote on Tuesday after the Council of Ministers meeting on the short message service Twitter.
When asked, the head of the state chancellery, Florian Herrmann (CSU), said that the cabinet had decided on the amendment to the local electoral law “in the first round”. The law is now first going to the association hearing before it has to be finally decided by the state parliament. So far, local electoral law has provided for an age limit for mayors and district administrators – in Bavaria, they must not be 67 years old when they take office.
Söder had already declared at the CSU exam in January in Kloster Banz that he wanted to abolish the age limit. At the time, he pointed out that the general conditions had changed and that people in Germany should be working longer and longer. It is therefore only logical if age is no longer an exclusion criterion in local politics. In addition, Söder reminded that in the USA, for example, President Joe Biden was already 80 years old.
Söder’s announcement of the end of the age limit met with very different responses from local politicians. “The vote should be decisive, not the date of birth. The abolition of the age limit is therefore correct,” said Joel Keilhauer, chairman of the Munich Greens. At the same time, he criticized the fact that the state government was sticking to the minimum age of 40 for the election of the prime minister. “The fear of Katharina Schulze seems to be great for the otherwise self-confident CSU boss. This shows that Söder’s motive is not to reduce discrimination, but that he is concerned with pure power politics.” However, the Greens are also critical of the new age limit regulation at municipal level, because they fear it will result in disadvantages for the most promising candidate for the office of Mayor of Munich, Katrin habenharm. Without a change in the legal situation, incumbent Dieter Reiter (SPD) would not have been able to seek another term.