'Mako Seeye': Youth Groups March To Elections Commission To Advocate For 18+ Voting Rights

A large number of youth representing the Association For Friendship And Love (AFRIEL)from all parts of the country marched to the Elections Commission this morning to pressure Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya to ensure 18+ voters are allowed to exercise their franchise.

Currently, due to procedural delays it takes about a year for youth over 18 to be able vote, meaning they are close to 19 when they finally are able to exercise their franchise.

Youth feel disenfranchised as a result of this since they are not able to use their Fundamental Rights as mandated in the Constitution.

The youth came carrying banners that read 'Mako Seeye' - 'Granpa Elections Commisioner' to get the attention of the Elections Commission Chair, in which they seem to have succeeded when the EC Chair Mahinda Deshapriya referred to their slogan at a meeting he hosted for the protestors.

The protest was organised in view International Youth Day which falls today. The youth organisation, AFRIEL, said they would continue to press for changes in the system that would give the youth greater representation.

AFRIEL is a grassroots volunteer network that focuses of building trust between communities, promoting human rights and good governance, as well as strengthening transitional justice, constitutional reforms, RTI and securing other rights of vulnerable communities.

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