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[WATCH] Muscat wants consultation on recreational marijuana by end of year

Joseph Muscat says same-sex marriage will be introduced this summer, plays down concerns that removal of parliamentary immunity could muzzle MPs

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
16 May 2017, 9:50am
Last updated on 16 May 2017, 11:14am
Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat addresses a press conference with parliamentary secretary for active ageing Justyne Caruana (L) (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat addresses a press conference with parliamentary secretary for active ageing Justyne Caruana (L) (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Prime Minister and Labour leader Joseph Muscat said he plans to launch a public consultation on recreational marijuana by the end of 2017, and re-confirmed that he personally agrees it should be introduced.

Responding to questions from the media at the end of a press conference in Mtarfa, Muscat also said that, if Labour wins the election, then same-sex marriage will be introduced before Parliament breaks for summer recess.

Muscat, who has pledged a "leap forward" in progressive civil liberties, played down the PN's pledge to introduce same-sex marriage arguing that the party is not credible in that regard. 

"Civil liberties isn't an auction, but an issue of credibility and the Opposition had taken a position of convenience by abstaining against civil unions three years ago," he said.

Muscat was also asked by MaltaToday why Labour is only fielding 11 female candidates in this election, despite his frequent calls for parliamentary gender quotas.

He responded that the Party is always searching for more women but that the 11 approved candidates are all "women of quality", and reiterated that he will push for parliamentary gender quotas to be introduced before the next election in four or five years' time.

Muscat also dismissed concerns that his plans to remove parliamentary immunity from MPs will amount to muzzling them from speaking about wrongdoing in Parliament.

"This isn't an issue of muzzling, but that people must shoulder responsibility for what they say," he said. "No other Prime Minister in Malta's history has taken so much action against his team as I have, but people who pass allegations must be held responsible for those allegations too – as Simon Busuttil must be held responsible for his lie about Egrant belonging to my wife."