VI. The Federal Government
Article 62. [Composition]
The Federal Government shall consist of the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Ministers.
Article 63. [Election of the Federal Chancellor]
- The Federal Chancellor shall be elected by the Bundestag without debate on the proposal of the Federal President.
- The person who receives the votes of a majority of the Members of the Bundestag shall be elected. The person elected shall be appointed by the Federal President.
- If the person proposed by the Federal President is not elected, the Bundestag may elect a Federal Chancellor within fourteen days after the ballot by the votes of more than one half of its Members.
- If no Federal Chancellor is elected within this period, a new election shall take place without delay, in which the person who receives the largest number of votes shall be elected. If the person elected receives the votes of a majority of the Members of the Bundestag, the Federal President must appoint him within seven days after the election. If the person elected does not receive such a majority, then within seven days the Federal President shall either appoint him or dissolve the Bundestag.
Article 64. [Appointment and dismissal of Federal Ministers – Oath of office]
- Federal Ministers shall be appointed and dismissed by the Federal President upon the proposal of the Federal Chancellor.
- On taking office the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Ministers shall take the oath provided for in Article 56 before the Bundestag.
Article 65. [Power to determine policy guidelines – Department and collegiate responsibility]
The Federal Chancellor shall determine and be responsible for the general guidelines of policy. Within these limits each Federal Minister shall conduct the affairs of his department independently and on his own responsibility. The Federal Government shall resolve differences of opinion between Federal Ministers. The Federal Chancellor shall conduct the proceedings of the Federal Government in accordance with rules of procedure adopted by the Government and approved by the Federal President.
Article 65a. [Command of the Armed Forces]
- Command of the Armed Forces shall be vested in the Federal Minister of Defence.
Article 66. [Incompatibilities]
Neither the Federal Chancellor nor a Federal Minister may hold any other salaried office, or engage in any trade or profession, or belong to the management or, without the consent of the Bundestag, to the supervisory board of an enterprise conducted for profit.
Article 67. [Vote of no confidence]
- The Bundestag may express its lack of confidence in the Federal Chancellor only by electing a successor by the vote of a majority of its Members and requesting the Federal President to dismiss the Federal Chancellor. The Federal President must comply with the request and appoint the person elected.
- Forty-eight hours shall elapse between the motion and the election.
Article 68. [Vote of confidence]
- If a motion of the Federal Chancellor for a vote of confidence is not supported by the majority of the Members of the Bundestag, the Federal President, upon the proposal of the Federal Chancellor, may dissolve the Bundestag within twenty-one days. The right of dissolution shall lapse as soon as the Bundestag elects another Federal Chancellor by the vote of a majority of its Members.
- Forty-eight hours shall elapse between the motion and the vote.
Article 69. [Deputy Federal Chancellor – Term of office]
- The Federal Chancellor shall appoint a Federal Minister as his deputy.
- The tenure of office of the Federal Chancellor or of a Federal Minister shall end in any event when a new Bundestag convenes; the tenure of office of a Federal Minister shall also end on any other occasion on which the Federal Chancellor ceases to hold office.
- At the request of the Federal President the Federal Chancellor, or at the request of the Federal Chancellor or of the Federal President a Federal Minister, shall be obliged to continue to manage the affairs of his office until a successor is appointed.