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Taiwan takes first step toward lowering voting age

2016/06/17 16:53:36

Taipei, June 17 (CNA) Taiwan took its first step toward lowering the voting age to 18 from the present 20 after a draft amendment to the Constitution passed a first reading Friday.

The draft amendment will now be sent to the Constitutional Amendment Committee for review.

The draft amendment, which was co-signed by 31 lawmakers, says that voting age restrictions stipulated in the Republic of China Constitution have not been discussed or amended during the past seven decades.

The proposed amendment notes that many democratic countries have a voting age of 18.

Japan, which had previously set its age of suffrage at over 18, lowered it to 18 in June 2014, and this shows that Taiwan's voting age of 20 lags behind some other democratic countries, it says.

The proposed amendment says that currently, over 90 percent of countries give people over 18 voting rights.

Countries such as Argentina, Brazil and Scotland have lowered the voting age to 16.

A proposal to amend the Constitution requires the endorsement of 25 percent of the 113-seat Legislature to be valid.

(By Justin Su and Lilian Wu)