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PN expected to take stand on civil unions on Monday

PN parliamentary group to meet on Monday over draft civil unions bill, to make position known this week.

Jurgen Balzan
20 October 2013, 12:00am


The PN will continue discussing the proposed civil unions bill on Monday and make its position known some time this week, deputy leader for Parliamentary affairs Mario de Marco said.

A bill regulating civil unions for gay couples was tabled in Parliament this week and giving same-sex couples the same rights as the marriage law grants to heterosexuals.

Although it has been reported that Nationalist MPs and officials are in disagreement over the stand the party should take, de Marco told MaltaToday that "divergences are not as deep as one might think," and hinted at an imminent agreement within the PN's Parliamentary group.

The group started discussing the bill during Wednesday's mandatory meeting, however Nationalist MPs will meet again on Monday when they are expected to discuss the bill in detail.

It is thought that disagreement exists on whether the PN should fully endorse the bill or distance itself from the proposed law to quell a possible grassroots rebellion.

However, after this year's electoral debacle in which the party evidently lost the backing it previously enjoyed within the liberal electorate, mainly thanks to its disastrous handling of the divorce referendum in 2011, the party's new leadership has set winning back the liberal vote as one of its main priorities.

It seems that the Opposition is biding its time and is wary of rushing into a decision before analysing the bill in detail and its options.

PN leader Simon Busuttil has refrained from taking a stand, claiming that the party would only do so once the draft bill is published. The party is also expected to consult experts and stakeholders before taking a clear stand this week.
Jurgen Balzan joined MaltaToday in 2011, specialising in politics, foreig...

Lawrence Galea
I wonder whether Simon and David Casa will vote against anf if they do I am certain that it will be against their heart.
Anna Zammit
Dr Simon Busuttil donnu ser jibqa' gallarija fuq din l-issue. Bhala leader ghandu jiftakar kemm kien ilu jwieghed il-PN xi forma ta' rikonoxximent, u li l-PL wieghed dal-ftehim fil-programm elettorali. Ghax ma jurix kemm hu ragel u jaghti lil membri tieghu vot sigriet, halli naraw wara kollox jistax hemm fosthom li jista' igawdi dad-drittijiet
Mario Attard
The Opposition has a Right to speak her mind. But Gonzi used to say that the Last Word rests with the Government. I hope that Joseph Muscat will do the same. The Last word Rests with ta Malta Taghna Ilkoll. Malta Taghan Ikoll is in Government and not those bunch of Hypocrites "the Opposition", else let the citizens decide what they want. It the citizens country and not the politicians.
Glor Findel
The PN needs to do some good homework over the weekend. After promising the introduction of some form of recognition to same-sex couples for 15 years and delivered nothing while they were in government, they can only regain their credibility now by showing that they can indeed have the welfare of those affected at heart. Let us not forget they again promised the introduction of 'civil partnerships' in their 2013 electoral programme. If they now vote against the introduction of civil unions they will out themselves as hypocrites who still cannot keep their promises, and we the liberals will not forget this for many decades to come - I promise you that!!! ... And if they did their analysis they will have found out that they lost the election mostly due to the floating liberal voters who left them in droves, and the gay vote, plus that of their families cannot be underestimated - all gay people have fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces, and also many good friends who do not wish to see them suffer! I appeal to the PN to wake up and do the right thing now, if they fail us again they can close down.
David Raynor Raynor
They can take as long as they like.Over this one issue alone they lost my vote sometime ago. Nothing they will decide now will change my opinion of them in the forseeable future.
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