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    German Democratic Republic Government - 1989

      Long-form name: German Democratic Republic; abbreviated GDR

      Type: Communist state

      Capital: East Berlin (not officially recognized by France, UK, and US, which together with the USSR have special rights and responsibilities in Berlin)

      Administrative divisions: 14 districts (bezirke, singular--bezirk); Cottbus, Dresden, Erfurt, Frankfurt, Gera, Halle, Karl-Marx-Stadt, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Neubrandenburg, Potsdam, Rostock, Schwerin, Suhl

      Independence: self-government proclaimed 7 October 1949, with permission of the Soviet authorities

      Constitution: 9 April 1968, amended 7 October 1974

      Legal system: civil law system modified by Communist legal theory; court system parallels administrative divisions; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; more stringent penal code adopted in 1968, amended in 1974 and 1979

      National holiday: Foundation of the German Democratic Republic, 7 October (1949)

      Branches: unicameral legislature (People's Chamber--Volkskammer, elected directly); executive (Council of State, Council of Ministers); judiciary (Supreme Court); entire structure dominated by Socialist Unity (Communist) Party

      Leaders: @m5Chief of State--Chairman of the Council of State Erich HONECKER (since 29 October 1976); @m5Head of Government--Chairman of the Council of Ministers Willi STOPH (since 29 October 1976)

      Suffrage: all citizens age 18 and over

      Elections: national every five years; prepared by an electoral commission of the National Front; ballot supposed to be secret and voters permitted to strike names off ballot; more candidates than offices available; parliamentary election held 8 June 1986; local elections held 6 May 1984

      Political parties and leaders: Socialist Unity (Communist) Party of Germany (SED), headed by General Secretary Erich Honecker, dominates the regime; four token parties (Christian Democratic Union, National Democratic Party, Liberal Democratic Party, and Democratic Peasants' Party) and an amalgam of SED-controlled special interest organizations participate with the SED in National Front

      Voting strength: 1986 parliamentary elections and 1984 local elections; over 99% voted the regime slate

      Communists: 2.195 million party members (1986)

      Other special interest groups: Free German Youth, Free German Trade Union Federation, Democratic Women's League, Cultural League of the German Democratic Republic (all Communist dominated)

      Member of: CEMA, IAEA, ICES, ILO, IMO, IPU, ITU, UN, UNESCO, UPU, Warsaw Pact, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

      Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Dr. Gerhard HERDER; Chancery at 1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20036; telephone (202) 232-3134; US--Ambassador Richard C. BARKLEY; Embassy at 1080 Berlin, Neustaedtische Kirchstrasse 4-5, East Berlin (mailing address is Box E, APO New York 09742); telephone �37� (2) 220-2741

      Flag: three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and yellow with the coat of arms centered; the coat of arms contains, in yellow, a hammer and compass encircled by a wreath of grain with a black, red, and gold ribbon at the bottom; similar to the flag of the FRG which does not have a coat of arms

      NOTE: The information regarding German Democratic Republic on this page is re-published from the 1989 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of German Democratic Republic Government 1989 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about German Democratic Republic Government 1989 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 15-Apr-03
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