age of candidacy
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Age of candidacy is the minimum age at which a person can legally qualify to hold certain elected government offices. In many cases, it also determines the age at which a person may be for an election or be granted . The first known example of a law enforcing age of candidacy was the ', a Roman law enacted in 180 BCE which set the minimum ages for senatorial .


Controversies

Many groups view current age of candidacy requirements as unjustified . Occasionally people who are younger than the minimum age will run for an office in protest of the requirement or because they don't know that the requirement exists. On extremely rare occasions, young people have been elected to offices they do not qualify for and have been deemed ineligible to assume the office. In 1934, of West Virginia was elected to the at the age of 29. Since the requires senators to be at least 30, Holt was forced to wait until his 30th birthday, six months after the start of the session, before being sworn in. In 1954, won election to the . Shortly after being sworn in, Fulton was ousted from office because he was 27 years old at the time. The required that senators be at least 30. Rather than hold a new election, the previous incumbent, , was allowed to resume his office for another term. Fulton went on to win the next State Senate election in 1956 and was later elected to the where he served for 10 years. In 1964 of Oklahoma was elected to the 89th Congress in the 1964 election while still aged 24 years. However, he became eligible for the House after turning 25 on his birthday, 27 December 1964, 7 days before his swearing in, making him the youngest ''legally '' elected and seated member of the United States Congress. In South Carolina, two Senators aged 24 were elected, but were too young according to the State Constitution: Mike Laughlin in 1969 and (later a US Congressman) in 1941. They were seated anyway. On several occasions, the has nominated candidates too young to qualify for the offices they were running for. In 1972, ran as the SWP presidential candidate, although she was 31 at the time. Since the U.S. Constitution requires that the President and Vice President be at least 35 years old, Jenness was not able to receive in several states in which she otherwise qualified. Despite this handicap, Jenness still received 83,380 votes. In 2004, the SWP nominated as the party's vice-presidential candidate, although she was 28 at the time. Hawkins was also unable to receive ballot access in several states due to her age.


Reform efforts

In the United States, many groups have attempted to lower age of candidacy requirements in various states. In 1994, voters rejected a ballot measure that would have lowered the age requirements to serve as a State Senator or State Representative from 25 to 18. In 1998, however, they approved a similar ballot measure that reduced the age requirements for those offices from 25 to 21. In 2002, voters rejected a ballot measure that would have reduced the age requirement to serve as a State Representative from 21 to 18. During the early 2000s, the and other groups successfully campaigned to lower age of candidacy requirements in the United Kingdom. The age of candidacy was reduced from 21 to 18 in , and on 1 January 2007, when section 17 of the entered into force.


International standards

International electoral standards which are defined in the International Public Human Rights Law, allow restricting candidacy on the basis of age. The interpretation of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights offered by the United Nations Human Rights Committee in the General Comment 25 states "Any conditions which apply to the exercise of the rights protected by article 25 (of the ICCPR) should be based on objective and reasonable criteria. For example, it may be reasonable to require a higher age for election or appointment to particular offices than for exercising the right to vote, which should be available to every adult citizen."


In various countries


Australia

In a person must be aged 18 or over to stand for election to public office at federal, state or local government level. The youngest ever member of the was 20-year-old elected in the 2010 federal election after the was amended (in 1973) to reduce the age of candidacy for that office from 21 to 18.


Austria

In , a person must be 18 years of age or older to stand in elections to the or . The Diets of regional are able to set a minimum age lower than 18 for to be in the polls in elections to the Diet itself as well as to municipal councils in the Land. In presidential elections the candidacy age is 35.


Belgium

Any Belgian who has reached the age of 18 years can stand for election for the , can become a member of the , or can be elected in one of the regional parliaments. This is regulated in the (Art. 64) and in the Special Law on the Reform of the Institutions.


Belize

According to the , a person must be at least 18 years old to be elected as a member of the and must be at least 30 to be Speaker of the House. A person must be at least 18 years old to be appointed to the and must be at least 30 to be president or Vice-President of the Senate. As only members of the House of Representatives are eligible to be appointed Prime Minister, the must be at least 18 years old. A person must also be at least 18 years old to be elected to a village council.


Brazil

The ian Constitution (Article 14, Section 3 (VI)) defines 35 years as the minimum age for someone to be elected president, Vice-President or Senator; 30 years for state Governor or Vice-Governor; 21 for Federal or State Deputy, Mayor or Vice-Mayor; and 18 for city Councilman.


Canada

In , to be eligible to run for elected office one must be a minimum of 18 years or older on the day of the election. However, to be appointed to the (Upper House), one must be at least 30 years of age, must possess land worth at least $4,000 in the province for which they are appointed, and must own real and personal property worth at least $4,000, above their debts and liabilities.


Chile

In the minimum age required to be elected is 35 years on the day of the election. Before the 2005 reforms the requirement was 40 years, and from 1925 to 1981 it was 30 years. For it is 35 years (between 1981 and 2005 it was 40 years) and for it is 21 years (between 1925 and 1970 it was 35 years).


China

In the minimum age to be elected as president or vice-president is 45. All citizens who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote and stand for election.


Cyprus

In the minimum age to be elected president is 35 years. The minimum age to run for the was 25 years until the was amended in 2019 to lower the limit to 21.


Czech Republic

In the , a person must be at least 18 years old in s. A person must be at least 21 years old to be elected to the of the or to the and 40 years old to be a member of the upper house () of the Parliament or the .


Denmark

In , any adult 18 years of age or older can become a candidate and be elected in any public election.


Estonia

In , any citizen 18 years of age or older in s, and 21 years or older in . The minimum age for the is 40.


France

In , any citizen 18 years of age or older can be elected to the , and 24 years or older for the . The minimum age for the is 18.


Germany

In a citizen shall be over 18 in national, like the , regional or local elections and a person shall be over 40 years of age to be .


Greece

In , those aged 25-years-old and over who hold Greek citizenship are eligible to stand and be elected to the .
''INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION''. Retrieved 6 January 2019.


Hong Kong

In Hong Kong a person must be at least 21 to be candidate in a district council or Legislative Council election. A person must be at least 40 to be candidate in the election, and also at least 40 to be candidate in the election for the from among the members of the Legislative Council.


Iceland

For the office of , any Icelandic citizen who has reached the age of 35 and fulfills the requirement necessary to vote in elections to the is eligible to be elected president.


India

In a person must be at least: *35 to be the or , and of the as specified in the *30 to be a member of (the upper house of ) and a (the upper house of a , in those states where the legislature is bicameral.) *25 to be the , , , , , Minister in the State Governments. Additionally, to be a member of (the lower house of ) and a (the lower house a State Legislature in the States of India.) *21 to be the Mayor, Chairman, Head and a Member (Members are variously called Corporators/Councillors/Ward Members according to the type of their respective local bodies) of a (Municipal Corporation), (Municipal Council), (Town Committee), (Village Council) and (Village Committee) respectively. Criticism has been on the rise to decrease the age of candidacy in India. has been working on a campaign to decrease the age of candidacy in India for and to better reflect the large young demographic of India.


Indonesia

In a person must be at least: *35 to be or as specified in the *30 to be Governor or Lieutenant Governor, as specified in the 2004 Regional Government Act *25 to be Regent, Vice Regent, Mayor, or Deputy Mayor, as specified in the 2004 Regional Government Act *21 to be Senator or Representative in both national and local parliament, as specified in the 2008 Election Act


Israel

In one must be at least 21 to become a member of the ( section 6(a)) or a . When the was directly elected, one must have been a member of the Knesset who is at least 30 to be a candidate for Prime Minister. Every Israeli Citizen (including minors) can be appointed as a Minister, or elected as , but the latter role is mostly ceremonial and elected by the Parliament.


Italy

In , a person must be at least 50 to be President of the Republic, 40 to be a , and 25 to be a , as specified in the 1947 . 18 years of age is sufficient, however, to be elected member of the Council of Regions, Provinces, and Municipalities (Communes).


Iran

In a person must be at least 21 years old to run for president.


Iraq

The Iraqi constitution states that a person must be at least 40 years old to run for president and 35 years old to be Prime Minister. Until 2019, the electoral law set the age limit at 30 years old for candidates to run for the Council of Representatives. However, the new Iraqi Council of Representatives Election Law (passed in 2019, yet to be enacted) lowered the age limit to 28.


Ireland

The 1937 requires the to be at least 35 and members of the (legislature) to be 21. for Ireland must also be 21. Members of must be 18, reduced from 21 in 1973. The 1922–1937 required (members of the , lower house) to be 21, whereas had to be 35 (reduced to 30 in 1928).Constitution of the Irish Free State, Article 31; The proposed to lower the presidential age limit to 21. However, this proposal was rejected by 73% of the voters.


Japan

In a person must be at least: *25 to be the of the with Japanese nationality, to be the Member of metropolitan, prefecture, city, town, or village with valid vote rights, or to be the *30 to be the , or to be the of the with Japanese nationality. See also .


Malaysia

In Malaysia a citizen shall be over 21 years of age to become a candidate and be elected to the and , and a person shall be over 30 to be the by constitution.


Mexico

In , a person must be at least 35 to be president, 25 to be a Senator, or 21 to be a Congressional Deputy, as specified in the .


Netherlands

In the , any adult 18 years of age or older can become elected in any public election. To be a candidate the person has to reach this age during the time for which the elections are held. Therefore, the minimum age to be a candidate is 14 years (plus or minus a few days, depending on the date of the next elections).


New Zealand

In the minimum age to be is 18 years old. Citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled as an elector are eligible to be a candidate for election as a .


Nigeria

In , a person must be at least 35 years of age to be elected or , 35 to be a Senator, 30 to be a State Governor, and 25 to be a Representative in parliament or Member of the States' House of Assembly.


North Korea

In , any person eligible to vote in elections to the is also eligible to stand for candidacy. The age for both voting and candidacy is 17.


Norway

In , any adult can become a candidate and be elected in any public election, from the calendar year that he or she turns 18 years.


Palestine

Palestinian parliamentary candidates must be at least 28 years old, while the presidential candidates must be at least 40 years old.


Pakistan

In , a person must be at least 45 years old to be . A person must be at least 25 years old to be a member of the provincial assembly or national assembly.


Philippines


Poland


Portugal


Russia

In Russia a person must be at least 35 to run for president.The Constitution of the Russian Federation: A Contextual Analysis, Henderson, Jane


Singapore

In a person must be at least 45 years old to run for president. 21 year-olds can stand in parliamentary elections.


South Africa

Section 47, Clause 1 of the 1996 Constitution of South Africa states that "Every citizen who is qualified to vote for the National Assembly is eligible to be a member of the Assembly", defaulting to Section 46 which "provides for a minimum voting age of 18 years" in National Assembly elections; Sections 106 and 105 provide the same for provincial legislatures.


South Korea


Spain

has two legislative chambers of Parliament, a lower house and an upper house. These are the (lower house) and the (upper house) respectively. The minimum age requirement to stand and to be elected to either house is 18 years of age.Spain
''Youthpolicy.org''. Retrieved 6 January 2019.


Sweden

In , any citizen at least 18 years old, who resides, or who has resided in the realm can be elected to parliament. Citizens of Sweden, the European Union, Norway or Iceland aged 18 and over may be elected to county or municipal council. Citizens of other countries may also be elected to council, provided they have resided in the realm for at least three years.


Switzerland

In , any citizen aged 18 or over can become a candidate and be elected in any federal election.


Taiwan

In the (commonly known as Taiwan) the minimum age to be elected as president or vice-president is 40.


Turkey

The set the age for parliamentary elections as 30. This remained unchanged until 13 October 2006, when it was lowered to 25 through a constitutional amendment. In 2017, it was further lowered to 18, the same as the .


United Kingdom

In the , a person must be aged 18 or over to stand in to all parliaments, assemblies, and councils within the UK, , or local level. This age requirement also applies in elections to any individual elective public office; the main example is that of an , whether of or a . There are no higher age requirements for particular positions in public office. Candidates are required to be aged 18 on both the day of nomination and the day of the poll. This was reduced from 21 by the .


United States

In the , a person must be aged 35 or over to serve as president. To be a Senator, a person must be aged 30 or over. To be a Representative, a person must be aged 25 or older. This is specified in the . Most states in the U.S. also have age requirements for the offices of Governor, State Senator, and State Representative. Some states have a minimum age requirement to hold any elected office (usually 21 or 18).


Venezuela

In , a person must be at least 30 to be or , 21 to be a deputy for the and 25 to be the Governor of a .Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela - Part 4, Chapter III, Article 160
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Comparison chart

Dashes indicate that the position or house does not exist in that particular country, such as countries that are .


See also

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Notes and references

{{Law country lists Minimum ages