IPU Assembly suggests lowering of voting age

New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) The assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), held in Zambia, has suggested lowering the voting age to enhance youth participation in politics and also sought to ensure political empowerment through school curriculum.

“Ensure that political empowerment is promoted in school curriculum through civic education and practical initiatives, such as mock parliaments, mock voting and political debating,” the assembly suggested in its outcome document.

“Invest in youth parliaments and councils for young people below the voting age and enhance youth participation in politics by lowering the voting age,” it added.

An Indian parliamentary delegation led by Lol Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan attended the assembly held in Lusaka.

Addressing the Assembly, Mahajan said that present-day youth in India have become more expressive in their opinion on issues ranging from day to day developments to parliamentary activities.

“They believe in their rights and their meaningful participation in the democratic process. Now, increasing numbers of youth from various socio-economic background are taking part in the political processes and electoral politics of the country,” she said.

Mahajan also said India is a young nation with about 27.5 percent of its population being in the age group of 15-29 years.

“In the next twenty years, these figures are going to increase and therefore it is necessary to make them an active part of the system,” she said.



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