Eligibility For Public Office

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Eligibility For Public Office


the right of citizens to be elected to various governmental bodies. In most bourgeois countries eligibility for public office is dependent on various restrictive qualifications relating to property, education, age, and the like. Property qualifications exist in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Liberia, and elsewhere.

A higher age qualification has been established for eligibility for public office than for eligibility to vote. In most countries the age of eligibility for public office is 25, as it is in Belgium, Ghana, Italy, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Pakistan, the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Japan. In Austria the age is 26, and in Iran, Libya, and Turkey it is 30. In countries with bicameral parliaments an even more advanced age is required for election to the upper house; in the United States, India, and Japan the age is 30, while in Brazil, France, and the Philippines it is 35, and in Belgium, Libya, and Turkey it is 40.

There are educational qualifications for candidates for representatives bodies in Brazil, the United States, Turkey, and other countries. In some countries candidates for parliament must undergo an examination of intellectual, moral, and even financial fitness. In Turkey senators must have a college diploma, and in Iran the only persons eligible for election to the upper house are persons who have already been members of the lower house for at least three sessions or who have been ministers, ambassadors, chairmen of the house, general attorneys, chairmen of appellate courts, professors or lawyers with 15–20 years of experience, or property owners who pay taxes in the amount of 500,000 rials.

In many countries candidates for representative bodies must pay a rather large sum as an electoral deposit. By establishing all these qualifications (especially property qualifications), the bourgeois state attempts to limit the possibility of representatives of the working people being elected to parliament.

In socialist countries the question of the formation of representative bodies of power is resolved in a fundamentally different way. In the interests of the entire society it is considered that the most deserving representatives of the people must be elected to the bodies of state power. In the USSR, persons who have reached 18 years of age may be elected to all Soviets, except the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, whose deputies must be at least 21 years of age (art. 21 of the Constitution of the USSR).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
IPU, through its members and young legislators Members of Parliaments, wants countries around the globe to set the minimum age for eligibility for public office with the voting age.
There seemed to be a standard where dual citizenship is recognized when the regime wants to restrict eligibility for public office and not recognized when a person seeks the consular protection from his other country.