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EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

5.2 Youth participation in representative democracy

Last update: 28 March 2022
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  1. Young people as voters
  2. Young people as political representatives

Young people as voters

The voting age limit for voting in the elections of the country's representative democracy institutions at all levels, including for the European Parliament elections is 18. In the rare case of a referenda, the age limit for being eligible to vote is again 18.

At the moment, there are not imminent plans or any debate to lower the voting age limit.

There are not any special provisions for young people in the electoral law and/or rules.

There is not any legislation aiming at facilitating specific groups of young people to exercise their voting rights.

The Ministry of Interior which is responsible for the elections in the country keeps record for the turnout of the whole population, but not the young people specifically. According to the  announcements of the Ministry, in the 2021 Parliamentary elections, the overall turnout was  65,72%, while in the previous Parliamentary elections of 2016  was 66,74%. According to the third Youth Barometer, 61% of young people aged 18-35 reported that they voted in the last Parliamentary elections of 2021 but as mentioned above, there is no official data on the exact turnout of the youth population. At the same time, the  “Active youth participation in social and democratic life” research conducted among young people aged 18-35, for the  Youth Board of Cyprus, indicated that 72% of the respondents voted in the 2016 parliamentary elections. Ιn the  2019 European elections, the overall turnout was  44,99%. Last, regarding the 2016 local elections, the  announcement of the Ministry of Interior mentioned that the overall turnout for local council elections was 54.8%. There was not available data for the youth participation in these elections.

Young people as political representatives

There is not any existing top-level legislation dealing with young people as members of political parties.

According to the Parliamentary elections Law, the age limit for standing as a candidate is the age of 21. According to the Local elections law, any candidate should have completed the age of 21 by the date the elections happen. It must be mentioned that there is not any quota of seats reserved for young people nor any existing provisions aiming at facilitating young people standing as political candidates.

After communicating with the Ministry of Interior, in the 2016 parliamentary elections 75 young people were candidates, 5 of which were elected. In the most recent Local Elections (2016) young people were the 21.1% of the candidates. Eventually, 19.4% of the people elected were young people. In the European elections 2014, young people were the 8.2% of the candidates and none of them was elected. In the last parliamentary elections of 2021, 5 out of 56 people elected (9%) fell within the age range 21-35 at the time of their election.

There are not any functions reserved for young people within the representative assembly.