I studied from many sources about the minimum age limit for competing in the elections. Many countries have that in the range 25-35 (in India it's 25). Many organisations proposed to reduce this age, in many countries.

At Present, which country has the lowest, minimum age limit to compete in Elections?

  • 3
    I'm surprised by your claim that "almost many countries have that between 25 to 35). In Switzerland the age to compete in an election is the same as the right to vote, at 18 years old. The eligibility right is tied to the voting right - either you have both or you have none.
    – Bregalad
    Mar 10, 2017 at 7:09
  • @Bregalad "The eligibility right is tied to the voting right" is not the case in all countries. In our country, at 18 we just only get 'Right to Vote' eligibility.
    – Forte Zhu
    Mar 10, 2017 at 7:22
  • @Bregalad You are not correct. Many countries have a higher age to vote than you do to complete in an election. For example, in the United States, you must be 25 years old to be eligible for the U.S. House of Representatives, 30 years old to be eligible for the U.S. Senate, and 35 years old to be eligible to be the U.S. President.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 12, 2017 at 1:17

2 Answers 2


Some jurisdictions have no legal limitations on running for office. Consider Dorset, Minnesota which had a four year old Mayor.

Saira Blair, an eighteen year old Republican West Virginia state legislator (who was just seventeen when she won the primary election to put her on a November ballot at which time she was eighteen) certainly is an example that there can indeed be an eighteen year elected official who actually campaigns on her own and legitimately serves. As the other answer noted, few countries allow people who aren't old enough to vote to run for office, and few countries allow someone under the age of eighteen to vote.

Similarly, "William Lloyd, an 18-year-old high school student from Brentwood in Essex, won the British local council elections for the conservative party in May 2007[.]" (The Chinese People's Daily newspaper linked for this point, incorrectly asserts that this made him an MP, when in fact, he was merely a local government council member.) Terence Smith, of the Labour party, who was Mayor of the small town of Goole, is reputedly the youngest Mayor who has ever served in Britain.

Seventeen year old Emily Provencio was elected to an officer position in the Democratic Party in Washington State.

A number of countries allow sixteen or seventeen year olds to vote in at least some elections and would be most likely to have elected officials who were under eighteen. The voting age is 16 in Brazil, Austria, Nicaragua, Argentina, some states in Germany and a canton in Switzerland. It is 17 in Indonesia and South Sudan. Sixteen year olds were allowed to vote in the Scottish referendum on independence in 2014, but they can't vote in candidate elections in Scotland. Norway experimented with a lowered voting age in 2011. "Studies from a municipal election in the United States, as well as national elections in Denmark and Austria, have shown that 16- and 17-year-olds are avid political participants and that voting at 16 and 17 is habit-forming."

Worldwide there were 126 members of national parliaments, worldwide, who were under age 30. According to the same source there are a very small number of women, but no men, under age of twenty-one, who hold such offices.


The minimum age to run for the Legislative Council of Hong Kong was lowered from 21 to 18 (same as the age of majority & minimum voting age) in 2015, after courts found the previous minimum age was against the Basic Law. In the subsequent LegCo election of 2016, Joshua Wong, a current college student, was elected Legislative Councilor, at the age of 20 years.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) also repealed age limits to run for its parliament, the Legislative Yuan, a few years ago. The previous age limit to run in legislative elections was 23, and it is now 18, the same as the minimum voting age there.

I doubt any country will allow people not even old enough to vote to run in elections, and since most countries have a minimum voting age of 18, my guess is that 18 is the minimum running age in national elections of any country.

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