In Germany, opposition parties advocate to lower voting age for nationwide elections from 18 to 16

By Volker Witting, 6 June 2023
Flag of Germany (photo credit: karlherl via pixabay)
Flag of Germany (photo credit: karlherl via pixabay)
Germany's constitution, the Basic Law, is clear: "Anyone who has reached the age of 18 is entitled to vote," it states. [...] The three parties in Germany's coalition government — the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP) and environmentalist Greens — support [a proposal to lower the national voting age to 16]. [...] Among political parties, the battle lines on this issue are clearly drawn. The three coalition partners, the SPD, FDP and Greens, support lowering the voting age for federal elections, as does the socialist Left Party. The center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU), which are particularly strong among older voters, as well as the far-right populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, have opposed the reform. Experts have said that by lowering the age of eligibility, about 1.5 million more people would be allowed to enter the voting booths at the next election. Changing the constitution requires the approval of two-thirds of the members of the Bundestag federal parliament and the Bundesrat upper house of parliament, which represents Germany's 16 federal states at the national level. The parties in the governing coalition do not have enough votes to do this — they would need support from the opposition. [...] In Germany, six of the 16 federal states already allow 16-year-olds to vote in statewide elections and 11 states allow them to vote in local elections. At the European Parliament elections in June 2024, 16-year-old Germans will be eligible to vote for the first time. The governing parties brought about this change in the law using their parliamentary majority in November.
Read the full article here: Deutsche Welle


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