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Lawmakers to review voting age amendment

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Legislative Yuan handed a constitutional amendment bill on lowering the legal voting age from 20 to 18 years old to a legislative committee for deliberation, Legislature Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday, noting that as the current session ended yesterday, the deliberations will be held in the next session.

The current legislative session ended yesterday and lawmakers recently reached a cross-caucus consensus to hold three-week interim meetings in mid-June.

After the last Yuan Sitting of this session yesterday, Wang said that the lawmakers will convene the Constitutional Amendment Committee in the next legislative session to deliberate the bill proposed by Kuomintang lawmaker Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) and Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君).

Gao later told reporters that he will work on the issue of convening the committee meeting as soon as possible in the next session. He noted that there are many voices in society calling to lower the voting age, as it is inconvenient for citizens to participate in political affairs when the threshold of voting is too high.

Cheng echoed Gao's remark, saying that the Legislature should deliberate the constitutional amendment soon and noting that it would be best if the Legislature could deal with the amendment during the interim meetings next month.

Lu said there is probably not enough time to pass and implement the amendment before the mayoral election takes place at the end of this year, adding that perhaps the lower voting age amendment can be carried out in the 2016 presidential election.

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