Germany Gets Its First Black Members of Parliament

USA Today, September 23, 2013

A chemist and an actor—both with family roots in Senegal—have become Germany’s first black federal lawmakers, according to official election results released Monday.

They were among 34 lawmakers with immigrant backgrounds to win seats in Sunday’s election, up from 21 in the previous term, said the Migration Media Service, a group that provides facts and figures on immigration in Germany.

Although nearly one in five of Germany’s 80 million people are immigrants, or the children or grandchildren of immigrants, relatively few have made it into the federal legislature. Until now there were no black lawmakers in Parliament, despite more than 500,000 people of recent African origin believed to be living in Germany.

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The other black lawmaker elected Sunday was Charles M. Huber, a 56-year-old actor born in Munich to a Senegalese father and a German mother. Huber is a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, which won the election with 41.5 percent of the vote.

Merkel’s party also now has its first Muslim lawmaker in the Bundestag. {snip}

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“Measured against the 630 seats in Parliament, some 5.4 percent of deputies now come from immigrant families,” the Migration Media Service noted. “In the population as a whole their share is more than three times as high, with about 19 percent.”

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