Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lebanon: Lebanon rejects bid to lower voting age to 18

FOCUS Information Agency - Lebanon's parliament has rejected a draft law to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, Xinhua News Agency informed.

Constitutional changes -- as is in the case with lowering the voting age -- require the approval of two thirds of the 128- lawmaker body. Only 34 legislators voted in favor of the bill, 66 abstained, and others chose to object it.

The lawmakers who voted in favor of the law included members of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah block, Democratic Gathering Parliamentary bloc led by Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, Speaker Nabih Berri's bloc, as well as members of Parliament from the Syrian Social National Party and the Baath Party.

Those who abstained from voting represent major parliamentary blocs such as Prime Minister Saad Hariri's al-Mustaqbal (Future) Movement, Christian leader Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement, and the Lebanese Forces party.

The voting process occurred while youth activists were holding a sit-in in Riad Solh Square in downtown Beirut, demanding lowering the voting age to 18.

Muslims represent around 60 percent of the total population, while Christians represent around 39 percent, according to foreign estimations since there are no official numbers.

Christians fear that lowering the age of voting could be in favor of Muslims, since it would provide them with more powerful voting clout.

Published by i On Global Trends - Mike Hitchen Online - news, opinion, analysis
See also Sydney Irresistible and for personal comment, Mike Hitchen Unleashed
Putting principles before profits