Greens want voting rights extended to 16-year-olds

Alternattiva Demokratika Zaghzagh say the right to vote in all elections should be extended to all citizens above the age of 16.

Alternattiva Demokratika Zaghzagh (ADZ) said it strongly believes that the right to vote in all elections should be extended to all citizens above the age of 16.

"While both PN and PL keep using youth as a backdrop, they should take a clear stand on this basic democratic issue, whether to allow 16 year olds to vote in local, European and general elections," ADZ said.

ADZ spokesperson Robert Callus said: "Different people mature at different ages. There are those who vote according to the favour they have received or on the basis of tradition rather than according to the needs of the country or ideology. What can be more immature than that? Yet, these people have the right to vote, and rightly so."

Callus explained that young people are,already being held responsible for their actions. "Therefore these youths should be encouraged to participate in politics. Extending the vote to people above the age of 16 would be giving them a clear sign that they are fully part of our society and that their contributions in the democratic process are welcome."

"This is just one of the necessary changes to the electoral law in Malta. A political party must not necessarily be in government to change these out-dated laws. Being present in parliament is enough to give any party the opportunity to present such a bill to lower the voting age in any elections," he said.

Callus noted that Alternattiva Demokratika is proposing a number of changes to the Maltese electoral law, among which there is the proposal to lower the voting age to 16 in local council elections. "Being elected in parliament would give AD the opportunity to present the necessarily bills to change the law," Callus added.