Gender mechanism only serves big parties, AD says, as government welcomes PN agreement

Government welcomes the PN's agreement with proposed gender corrective mechanism, Alternattiva Demokratika slams arrangement as 'amateurish'

File photo
File photo

At least 40% of all MPs will be women after the next general election, the Equality Ministry has announced, but green party Alternattiva Demokratika has slammed the agreement between Labour and the Nationalist Party as self-serving and 'amateurish'.

It argued that gender balance should stem from a reformed electoral system and not from an agreement reached between the two major parties.

The government welcomed the agreement reached by the Technical Committee for the Advancement of Representative Democracy following the endorsement of a gender corrective mechanism by the Nationalist Party’s representatives on the committee, Graziella Attard Previ and Alessia Psaila Zammit.

READ MORE: PN endorses gender corrective mechanism to increase women MPs

“The government will move ahead without delays so that the final draft bill is presented to the approval of the Cabinet Ministers and the parliamentary process ensues,” the Equality Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

It added that the gender corrective mechanism that will ensure a maximum of six MPs on each side of the House will be in place by the next general election.

AD was unimpressed by female parliamentary representation amounting to at least 40% after the next general election. It said that the mechanism will “ensure six pseudo-parliamentary PN puppets and six pseudo-parliamentary Labour puppets.

“As usual, the PLPN agreed on a mechanism that will only work for them but would not work when other MPs are elected from other parties. Maltese women deserve representation not just when they’re Labour or PN.”

In June 2019, AD had proposed that every party that achieves at least 2.5% of the vote in the first count is guaranteed parliamentary representation.

It had said that an electoral system should be based on an electoral list that is gender balanced before it is accepted by the Electoral Commission.

Equality parliamentary secretary Rosianne Cutajar said that gender balance in Malta was now entering into the realms of policy, not just rhetoric.

“The proposed system of government with the approval of the PN is a clear example of the amateur methods applied in Malta. It’s clear that the need for further participation from all genders has been thwarted into a tool to facilitate Labour and the PN,” AD’s statement on Friday read.