VALLETTA, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Malta decided to grant 16-year-olds the right to vote, after changes to the constitution were unanimously voted by parliament on Monday, drawing positive reactions from across the political spectrum on Tuesday.
"Malta becomes second European Union member state, after Austria, to lower voting age to 16 years in all elections. Parliament amends Constitution unanimously. We have made history, again," tweeted Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Monday.
The changes, which passed by 64 votes in favor, and none against, will revise the voting age down from 18 for European Parliament elections and general elections.
In 2014, parliament introduced changes allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in local council elections.
In a statement, Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship Julia Farrugia Portelli said Malta was among the first ten countries in the world to extend voting rights.
Opposition spokesperson for youth affairs Ryan Callus also described the vote as historic.
The Party of European Socialists commended the Maltese government and Joseph Muscat on Tuesday for the government's strong and progressive agenda.
"Lowering the voting age to 16 completes the important democratic reform initiated by Partit Laburista (Malta Labor Party) when they removed the bar on 16 and 17-year-olds voting in local elections, fulfilling a pledge made during the election campaign," it said in a statement.