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Iran's Parliament Raises Voting Age

Voters in Iran's December elections (Fars) January 2, 2006 -- Iran's parliament today passed a bill that would raise the minimum voting age in legislative and presidential elections from 15 to 18.

The bill is opposed by the government, which says Iran's young people are capable of voting as a "pillar of the revolution."

Proponents of the bill argue that the move brings voting rights in line with the minimum age for military service and for driving.

The bill still must be approved by the Guardians Council before becoming law.

President Mahmud Ahmadinejad came to power in August 2005, following a runoff victory over a candidate who painted himself as a moderate alternative to the conservative elite. Ahmadinejad's rival in that vote, Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, fared better in December balloting to elect local councils and the clerically dominated Assembly of Experts.