Gibraltar plans to lower voting age

SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLDS in Gibraltar may soon be able to have their say in general elections should a new proposal be approved in parliament.

 The Gibraltar Government announced that there was unanimous approval at a cabinet meeting held yesterday morning to reduce the voting age from 18 to 16.

The move – which seems certain to go ahead given that the Socialist-Liberal alliance government has the majority vote in parliament – would add around 800 new voters to the electoral register in the small British outpost bordering Spain. As the British Government considers proposals for reducing the voting age to 16 in the UK, Gibraltar looks set to follow Scotland’s decision to allow 16-year-olds to vote in the recent referendum on independence.

Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said: “With the referendum in Scotland having included 16-year-old voters, any future referenda in the UK and Gibraltar are likely to have such a franchise. As a result, it is clear to us that voting at general elections should also be extended to those who are 16 years and over. “

Gibraltar will join only a small group of countries who extend voting rights to citizens under the age of 18, including Argentina, Nicaragua, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Austria

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