SIXTEEN and seventeen-year-olds will be able to vote in Senedd elections from now on after Plaid Cymru and Labour AMs voted in favour of the Senedd and Elections Bill.
AMs voted 41 to 19 with no abstentions. The Bill required forty out of sixty AM to vote for the bill to pass.
Speaking after the vote, Plaid Cymru AM Rhun ap Iorwerth said,
“Plaid Cymru are proud to have ensured the passing of this Bill today which will ensure that the young people of Wales can participate in Wales’ democracy.
“This Bill is a reflection of the evolution of our Assembly into a national Senedd for the people of Wales. A crucial part of that is the ability of our young citizens to become a part of the political process.
“By extending the right to vote to 16 and 17 year olds we show young people that we trust them, we’re ready to listen to them and we take their opinions seriously.
“It’s wonderful to see that the Youth Parliament has made such an impact in its first year and it is proof enough that the young people of Wales have a massive contribution to make and are ready and able to shape their world, their Wales.
On the naming of the Senedd, Rhun ap Iorwerth AM added,
“We’re disappointed the Labour Welsh Government blocked the straightforward Senedd name that the people of Wales wanted. Their intransigence was deeply frustrating.
“However, Plaid Cymru’s persistence, supported by a number of Labour backbenchers, has been successful in ensuring that AMs in the future will be known as Aelod o’r Senedd/Member of the Senedd. So, in effect, we’ve won the debate on what the institution will be called from today.