The German Pirate Party will take part in elections for the parliament of Hesse at the end of January. The party was officially admitted on Friday by the election administrator of the state after it submitted more than a thousand signatures of support about a week ago.

The elections in Hesse will be the first time for the German pirates to take part in the country's electoral system. The party will compete against 16 other political organizations ranging from the well-established, like the governing Christian Democrats, to the completely obscure, like the "Purple Party" - a group that wants to save the world through "spiritual politics".

Most of these parties never actually have a chance to save anything though. Hesse, like all other German states, has a multi-party system, but only parties that capture at least five percent of the votes get to send their representatives to the parliament. Last time around only four parties got more than five percent, or about 140000 votes.

It would be close to a miracle if the pirates were to actually become the fifth party in the parliament this time around - especially since the party seems to be largely unknown to most people and only has two months to change that. Pirates from the German state of Lower Saxony had to learn this lesson the hard way a good week ago: The local party chapter wasn't able to submit the 2000 signatures they needed to take part in that state's election.

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