Voting age to be lowered to 16 in November
Voting age for local council elections will be reduced to 16 years of age from the current 18. This was revealed by Parliamentary Secretary responsible for local councils, Jose Herrera, who confirmed that the government intends to lower the voting age next November to correspond with the 20th anniversary of local council elections.
This was announced during the swearing in ceremony of new councilors elected in the March 9 elections. Dr Herrera explained that this intends to increase interest in local councils and elections since turn outs have dropped. Recent statistics proved that 82% voted in the previous local council election, a nine per cent decrease when compared to general election voting.
While addressing the new councilors, the Parliamentary Secretary urged them to keep in touch with people and update themselves on the law. He also discussed issues that limit the efficiency of local councils and promised that such hindrances will be tackled.
Jose Herrera also confirmed that the government will be working to ensure that all local council meetings would be streamed online.
He called for local councils to be responsible for all the street lighting. Local councils are currently responsible for half the street lighting as they are only responsible for lamps attached to brackets while Enemalta is responsible for the other half – electricity poles.
Dr Herrera added that the he intends to address any problems that may have risen in the past such as high bureaucracy measures and poor coordination within local councils and will listen to the people. The Parliamentary Secretary concluded the meeting by auguring the newly elected councillors and also called for more work and greater action in towns and villages.