PN and Democratic Party present motion to allow 16-yearolds a vote in general elections
Independent MP (and leader of the Partit Demokratiku) Marlene Farrugia and Opposition Whip David Agius yesterday presented a motion to the Speaker of the House for an amendment to the Constitution allowing 16year-olds the right to vote in general elections.
In the motion, Dr Farrugia and Mr Agius wrote that this change in legislation would be for the common good and in the nation’s interest.
They added that such a move would allow the House to acknowledge the contribution made to society by today’s youths by giving them the chance to help shape the laws that govern them and the politics that surrounds them – in the interest of Maltese and Gozitan youths.
Dr Farrugia and Mr Agius concluded by saying that it would be fair and just to allow 16-year-olds a voice, in view of the fact that they can legally work, pay taxes and contribute towards generating wealth and economic growth. They can also legally get married and build a family – the backbone of the Maltese society, therefore they should be given the chance to vote for who represents them in Parliament.
“For these reasons, we ask the House to decide on whether to immediately change the Constitution of Malta article 57(b) so that the minimum age to vote for the House of Representatives to be 16 years old.”
But the Labour Party said in a statement it is a shame that the Opposition Leader felt the need to politicise the issue of allowing 16-year-olds a right to vote for general elections, when it is clear there is agreement across both main parties, and that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has long been speaking on the issue.
“Dr Muscat from the start spoke about giving 16-year-olds the right to vote for European Parliament elections as well as general elections, and he led the first Government which gave them a right to vote in local council elections. He had said this is the first step to allowing them a vote in the general elections.
“He said that contrary to the Opposition Leader, this government and this party (the Labour Party) fully believe in today’s youth, which is evident from the youth guarantee it brought into force, the increase of stipends as well as the provision of stipends for repeaters – which Dr Busuttil was against.”
MZPN said in a statement that it fully endorses the decisive action taken by Nationalist Party Leader Simon Busuttil in presenting a parliamentary motion and tabling a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Malta calling for all 16-yearolds to be allowed to vote in the coming general election.
“This action is a clear indicator of the trust that is rightfully placed in today’s youth. Rather than discussing such issues and ensuring that any changes never materialize, as seen by Muscat’s decision to grant 16-year-olds the right to vote in local council elections and then cancelling such elections, the Nationalist Party is showing that it is moving forward with less words and more action.
“Today’s youths are not just tomorrow’s future – MZPN fully trusts that this move will not only bring about a much needed breath of fresh air in the local political sphere, but will also serve to bring new generations closer to today’s political reality, helping form our nation’s future with innovative ideas and a forwardthinking approach.”