Sunday, 22 March 2009

Under 18's now admitted

The The BBC reports that the Lebanese parliament has finally lowered the voting age to 18... after many, many years. All that is needed is a constitutional amendment, apparently.

This could shift the electoral terrain, but not yet. According the the report:

It is expected to take several months and under-21s will not be able to vote parliamentary elections in June.

The measure is likely to benefit the Shia Muslim political groups Hezbollah and Amal who were pushing for a change.

The elections are expected to be hotly contested between Shia-led opposition allies and a Sunni-led pro-West bloc.

However, analysts believe the numbers of the Shia Muslim community are rising fastest, and gaining demographic strength at the expense of the once-dominant Christian community.

Some clauses of the electoral law were amended last year, but MPs initially opposed proposals for lowering the voting age and introducing a quota for women in parliament.

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