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Voting age referendum climb down unacceptable - Andrews

15 January, 2015

Sinn Féin’s Chris Andrews has described the government’s climb down on holding a referendum on lowering the voting age as completely unacceptable.

Cllr. Andrews said “The latest abandonment by the government of holding a referendum on a measure with the potential to introduce much needed positive change to our political system is just further evidence of the Fine Gael/Labour government’s complete failure to deliver in any respect on the major issues of political reform”.

“The government has instead proposed a referendum on lowering the age at which people can stand for the office of President from 35 to 21, which due to the over cumbersome nomination process required to stand in Presidential elections is an issue which is likely to have no impact of any substance, particularly if a large cohort of young people are not afforded the opportunity to vote for a young candidate.”

 “Reducing the voting age to sixteen was recommended by the Constitutional Convention and the government gave a clear commitment in July 2013 to hold a referendum on the matter prior to the end of 2015. Its climb down is on the issue is completely unacceptable and a referendum on the issue should be held on the matter on the same day in May as other proposed referenda - there is no logical reason why it should not”.

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