Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies, or lower house, approved a bill Wednesday night that lowers the national voting age from 18 to 16 years old, having broad implications for next year’s congressional elections according to many analysts. The law passed by a large majority in Argentina’s Senate in mid-October as detailed by an earlier AQ Daily Focus, and was once again passed by a 131-2 majority in the lower house, making it law.
The vote was boycotted by lawmakers from the Unión Cívica Radical and Partido Socialista, and 28 opposition senators signed a statement vowing to vote against modifications to Argentina’s constitution in the future.
Opponents still contend that the additional 1.4 million voters would add momentum to President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s ruling Frente para la Victoria coalition in the 2013 legislative elections. This could lead to the ruling party gaining a two-thirds majority in both houses and allow for a change to the constitution that would grant the President the chance to run for a third term. President Fernández de Kirchner does not support these claims, and says it expands democratic liberties in the same way her government promoted legislation to allow same-sex marriages.
The President’s approval rating was at an all time low in September, at 24.3 percent, and it remains to be seen whether this will boost her approval.