Political parties and the government had reached a consensus on lowering the voting age in Cyprus to 17 instead of 18, it emerged on Thursday.

The house interior committee discussed the measure proposed by Disy MP Averof Neophytou and its feasibility at a session on Thursday. The proposed bill is being discussed in parliament and then needs to be passed by plenum to move ahead, as it would require a constitutional amendment.

Following the meeting, Neophytou, who is not a member of the committee but was invited to discuss the proposal, said it was distinguished that there was a consensus between political parties and the government regarding the initiative to grant 17-year-old’s the right to vote.

Neophytou said that the proposal in question is essentially a political issue, and in his opinion, Cyprus should follow other European countries in granting young people the right to vote from the age of 17.

“It seems that the government also agrees with the proposal, technically it is correct, and we can move forward,” he said.

On behalf of the Ministry of Interior, Head of the Electoral Service Menelaos Vasiliou said the main problem at this stage was related to the short period of time between the submission of the proposal and the elections next June.

Vasiliou added that if approved, the new age limit would come into effect from May 2026.

When asked about the number of people affected, Vasiliou said that the new limit would grant the right to vote to an additional 8,680 Greek Cypriots and 78 Turkish Cypriots with registered addresses in state-controlled areas for parliamentary elections. Additionally, 746 Turkish Cypriots would gain the right to vote for European elections.

In his statements after the end of the session, the House Committee head and Akel MP Aristos Damianou said that there is indeed a wider trend across Europe to reduce the age limit for exercising the right to vote. He added that today there was a discussion on the principle and that he is in consultation with the House legal committee, as the amendment of the constitution is required to implement such a provision.

He added that if and when approved within the next few weeks or months, this proposal would first apply to the May 2026 parliamentary elections.

“It is an ongoing process and we will see accordingly how the parties and the executive will move, although there is a broad consensus towards the passage of the bill,” he said.