Lebanon's parliament rejects lowering voting age

Bill to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 led to sharp divisions between Christian and Muslim politicians.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 23, 2010 10:01
Lebanon's parliament rejects lowering voting age

lebanon 224.88. (photo credit: AP)

BEIRUT — Lebanon's parliament has rejected a bill to lower the voting age in the country from 21 to 18 after the proposal led to sharp divisions between Christian and Muslim politicians.

The issue is hotly disputed in Lebanon because reducing the voting age would likely benefit Muslims in a country with a mixture of 18 religious sects.

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Thirty-four of the legislature's 128 members voted in favor of the bill Monday, while 66 abstained and one voted against it.

Sh'iite Muslim groups Hizbullah and Amal have been calling on lawmakers for years to reduce the voting age since the sect is believed to have a large number of younger voters.

As legislators were meeting, dozens of youth, mainly Shiite Muslims, demonstrated nearby in support of the bill.


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