The Volkskammer was the Parliament of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). From its founding in 1949 until the first free elections on March 19, 1990, all members of the Parliament were elected on a slate controlled by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), called the National Front. On paper, the Volkskammer had great power, appointing the Councils of State and Ministers, and the Chairman of the National Defence Council. However, the Parliament had little real power, and the most dissent ever shown by Parliament to the SED was the nays of fourteen and abstensions of eight CDU representatives in a vote on liberalising abortion law.
A typical slate was as follows:
|Socialist Unity Party of Germany||SED||127|
|Free German Trade Union Federation||FDGB||68|
|Christian Democratic Union||CDU||52|
|Liberal Democratic Party of Germany||LPDP||52|
|Democratic Farmers' Party of Germany||DBD||52|
|National Democratic Party of Germany||NDPD||52|
|Free German Youth||FDJ||50|
|Democratic Women's League of Germany||DFD||35|
|Cultural Association of the DDR||KB||22|
In 1976, the Volkskammer moved into a specially-constructed building on Marx-Engels-Platz (now Schlossplatz again), the Palast der Republik (Palace of the Republic).
After the 1990 elections, the disposition of the parties was as follows
|Alliance for Germany||CDU, DA, DSU||192|
|Social Democratic Party of Germany||SPD||88|
|Party of Democratic Socialism||PDS, former SED||66|