The present constitution dates from May 1949, the Federal Republic
of Germany being formally established four months later.
The country is a parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislature
(Bundesrat and Bundestag, with 68 and 663 members respectively).
Executive authority lies with the Federal Government, led by the
The Federal President is the constitutional head of state. Each
of the states has its own legislature with power to pass laws on
all matters not expressly reserved for the competence of the Federal
The former German Democratic Republic has been absorbed into this
system, adding five Lδnder to the total.