The Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Parliament is elected democratically by the citizens of the Land (state) and, according to Article 20 of the State Constitution of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, it is the "site of political decision-making". The seat of Parliament is the castle in the state capital of Schwerin. Parliament is elected for one 5-year legislative period at a time. Specific details about the functions, composition, elections and working procedures of Parliament are defined in the State Constitution and in Parliament's rules of procedure.
Parliament fulfils three essential functions: One of its duties is to elect the Minister-President. The election is held not later than four weeks after the constituent assembly of the newly elected Parliament. Furthermore, Parliament has legislative power. It discusses and decides on laws which have been proposed by the government, by at least four members of Parliament or by a people's initiative or a petition for a referendum initiated directly by the people. The third important function of Parliament is to control the state government. For this purpose it disposes of an extensive right to interrogate and to require information.
As a result of the elections on 4th September 2011 the sixth Parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern now consists of 71 members from five parties. The strongest parties are the SPD (Social Democratic Party) with 27 seats and the CDU (Christian Democratic Party) with 18 seats, followed by the Linke (Left Party) with 14 seats and the Grünen (Green Party) with seven seats. Furthermore, the extremist right-wing party NPD (National Democratic Party of Germany) is represented in the Parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with 5 seats.
Parliament is elected for a legislative period of 5 years. It is, however, possible to terminate the period prematurely if one third of the members so request and if it is decided with a two-thirds majority of the votes cast including setting a date for new parliamentary elections.
According to the State Constitution, Parliament meets at the latest on the thirtieth day following the date of election.