- City Fajr Shuruq Duhr Asr Magrib Isha
- Dubai 05:24 06:42 12:10 15:09 17:32 18:50
In a country where 18-year-olds can drive, marry and serve in the army, allowing them to vote would generally be applauded as a boon for democracy. But not so in Lebanon. A move to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 has sparked fears of a shake-up of Lebanon's political structure, a complex power-sharing system between Christians and Muslims that has helped preserve a fragile peace since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war. The fear resonates most strongly within Lebanon's once-dominant Maronite Christian community, today estimated at around 30 per cent of the four-million population.
"Christians fear the numbers," said Paul Salem, who heads the Beirut-based Carnegie Middle East Centre.
The thorny issue may be put to the test at a parliament session today, almost one year after MPs approved draft legislation to cut the age from 21 to 18.
Keep up with the latest business news from the region with the Emirates Business 24|7 daily newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.
Follow Emirates 24|7 on Google News.