5.2 Youth participation in representative democracy
On this page
On this page
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 (Υπουργείο Εσωτερικών) 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 Presidential runoff Elections 2023 , the overall turnout was 72,2% in second round of presidential elections while in the previous presidential elections of 2018 was 71,9%. In addition, in the parliamentary elections of 2019 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”(« Η ενεργός συμμετοχή των νέων στα κοινά και στη δημοκρατική ζωή του τόπου») research conducted among young people aged 18-35, for the Youth Board of Cyprus (YBC), indicated that 72% of the respondents voted in the 2016 parliamentary elections. Ιn the 2019 European elections, the overall turnout was 44,99%.
There is not any existing top-level legislation dealing with young people as members of political parties.
According to the Parliamentary elections Law (Ο περί Εκλογής Μελών της Βουλής των Αντιπροσώπων Νόμος του 1979 (Ν. 72/1979), the age limit for standing as a candidate is the age of 21. According to the Local elections law (Ο περί Κοινοτήτων Νόμος του 1999 (86(I)/1999), 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 (Υπουργείο Εσωτερικών), 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.