Lower house of the German bicameral legislature. It represents the nation as a whole and is elected by universal suffrage under a system of mixed direct and proportional representation. Members serve four-year terms. The Bundestag in turn elects the chancellor. The term was formerly used to refer to the federal Diet of the German Confederation (1815–66), known as the Reichstag under the Weimar Republic (1919–34). Its building burned down in 1933 (see Reichstag fire), and its members were not allowed to meet again for the duration of the Nazi regime (1933–45). The Reichstag was reconstituted as the Bundestag in the governmental reorganization of 1949. Its membership was again reorganized after German unification in 1990.
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