Iran parliament reduces voting age to 15
TEHRAN, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Iran's parliament on Wednesday agreed to
reduce the voting age to 15 from 16 and set the date for parliamentary
by-elections to coincide with presidential polls in May 2001.
The new voting age limit reversed a hardline-supported bill last year,
which raised the voting age to 16 from the limit of 15 set after the 1979
Islamic revolution. The revolutionary government had reduced the limit
from 18 to increase voter turnout.
The hardliners had raised the voting age to 16 last year for parliamentary
elections held in February this year in an attempt to decrease the votes
that more radical youth would cast for reformers.
The reformers won the majority of parliamentary seats anyway, and by
reducing the age to 15 again, hope to boost their vote in presidential
and parliamentary by-elections next May.
President Mohammad Khatami, a moderate who won the 1997 elections in
a landslide is expected to run for re-election next year, while conservatives
have yet to put up a serious candidate to stand against him.