PN and Demo­cratic Party present mo­tion to al­low 16-yearolds a vote in gen­eral elec­tions

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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 state­ment

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.”

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