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.
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.
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