Iranian Parliament Raises Voting Age to 18

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian parliament has defied government opposition to pass a bill that would raise the minimum voting age in legislative and presidential elections from 15 to 18.

Proponents of the bill argued that the move brings voting in line with the minimum age for military service and driving while the government said Iran’s youth was more than capable of voting as a “pillar of the revolution”.

One hundred and fifty-one deputies in the parliament voted in favor of the bill and just 30 voted against, with seven abstentions.

To become law, the bill still has to be passed by the Guardians Council vetting body which verifies all legislation.

“The reason the government is opposing the reduction in the age of the voters is that the youth is the main pillar of the revolution,” Vice President Parviz Davoudi told the parliamentary debate Tuesday.

“The youth have always been involved in the political affairs and in the last elections (a municipal vote in December) they showed that.”

If approved by the Guardians Council, the law would apply to parliamentary elections in 2008 and presidential elections in 2009 and could be of some importance in a country with a booming youth population.

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