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Bill to lower voting age in local polls clears second hurdle in Estonian parliament

A bill of amendments to the local council election law and related laws drafted by the standing Constitutional Committee of the Estonian parliament and aimed at lowering the minimum voting age in local polls to 16 years passed a second reading in parliament on Tuesday.

The Local Government Council Election Act has to be changed to bring it into line with a constitutional amendment that stepped into effect in August 2015, which reduced the voting age in local elections from 18 years to 16 years.

According to the amendment persons who have turned 16 by the day of the election will have the right to vote in the election of the council of the municipality they reside in.

The bill failed to pass last November, falling two votes short of the required majority of 51.

MP Martin Helme proposed on behalf of the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) group to suspend the second reading of the bill, but the motion was turned down with votes 33 - 57 and two abstentions.

Source: BNS

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