The conventional long for the country is the Federal Republic of Germany. The short for is just simply Germany. In Germany, however, they refer to their country as Deutschland for short and Bundesrepublik Deutschland for long. .
The five constitutional bodies of Germany are the Bundestag and Bundesrat with responsibility for legislation, the Federal Constitutional Court with responsibility for supreme court decisions, and the Federal President and the Federal Cabinet with responsibility for the executive. .
Since July 1999, the chief of state has been President Johannes Rau. The president is elected for a five-year term by a Federal Convention, including all members of the Federal Assembly, and an equal number of delegates elected by the state parliaments. The last election was held May 23, 1999. The head of government is Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder who has been in office since October 27,1998. The chancellor is elected by an absolute majority of the Federal Assembly for a four-year term. The Cabinet, or Bundesminister, (Federal Ministers) is appointed by the president on the recommendation of the chancellor.
In the Legislative Branch, the bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Federal Assembly or Bundestag (603 seats, all elected by popular vote) and the Federal Council or Bundesrat. The Bundesrat has 69 votes with state governments directly represented by votes. Federal Assembly elections were last held September 2, 2002. There are no elections for the Bundesrat, the composition is determined by the composition of the state-level governments and the composition of the Bundesrat has the potential to change any time one of the 16 states holds an election. .
The government of Germany also has a Judicial Branch, which consists of the Federal Constiutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht. Half of the judges are elected by the Bundestag and the other half by the Budesrat.