19:31 GMT30 May 2020
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    A 2016 study of legislation and/or constitutional provisions in 167 of the 193 UN member states found that only 21 countries had placed no restrictions on the right to vote by persons with mental health problems.

    More than 300,000 mentally disturbed French citizens, who are currently barred from taking part in elections, will be allowed to vote, the state secretary for persons with disabilities, Sophie Cluzel, told Le Parisien.

    "There are 700,000 adult people in France now under supervision or guardianship. Of these, more than 300,000 are deprived of their right to vote by the court. These are mostly people with mental disorders. Our goal is to make sure that everyone can vote in municipal elections in 2022 at the latest,” Cluzel said.

    She added that depriving people with mental disorders of their right to vote is discrimination and that the government will also seek to grant such citizens the right to marry and to divorce.

    A pertinent amendment to the country’s electoral law is expected to be adopted before the end of this year.

    Few countries allow unrestricted political participation by people with psychosocial or intellectual disabilities.

    In spite of France’s international obligation to recognize people with disabilities’ legal capacity, guardianship is still widely applied: according to UN experts, some 385,000 people were under guardianship in 2015.  Seventeen percent of them – roughly 65,000 people – were deprived of their right to vote.

    READ MORE: Major US Civil Rights Group to March to Washington for Equal Voting Rights


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