ADPD could challenge Malta electoral gender-parity law in Constitutional Court

Carmel Cacopardo says party considering consitutional challenge to gender-corrective rules for elections

Green party ADPD is set to discuss a constitutional challenge to a gender-corrective measure that will increase the parliamentary representation of the under-represented sex in general elections. 

The historic gender parity law was supported by both parties in the House, but ADPD insists the law only serves a parliament composed of two dominant parties, rather than a multi-party system.  

“The electoral system is discriminatory. It is designed specifically to serve the needs of the parliamentary parties. In the coming days we will consider whether to proceed with contesting the constitutional validity of such a discriminatory system,” said ADPD chairman Carmel Cacopardo. 

The party is expected to take a decision on the constitutional challenge in the coming week. 

ADPD have criticised the gender corrective mechanism as a tool for the big political parties to strengthen their grip on the state. “There is nothing historic in the manipulation of the electoral system – PL and PN have long been manipulating and gerrymandering the system to suit their desperate need for control,” Cacopardo said.   

On Wednesday, the corrective mechanism was cleared at Third Reading stage in parliament, after 63 MPs voted in favour of the bill, while two voted against. The mechanism hopes to pave the way for more women to become MPs.  

If the under-represented sex comprises less than 40% of all seats after the election outcome is known, the mechanism will kick in to elect a maximum of 12 additional MPs – six on either side of the House.  

It will only kick in if two parties are elected to parliament and will remain in force for 20 years.  

The party said the new law will pave the way for “manipulation”, with an electoral system in which some women are declared more equal than others.   

Carmel Cacopardo added that Wednesday's vote is a testimony to the state capture by the big parties.   

“It has been aided and abetted by manipulators and apologists who justify anything and everything, such as Robert Musumeci and servants of the two-party state at the University of Malta, who are desperate to please their masters,” he said. “Let us not forget that this mash-up was also spearheaded by a Labour MP and former Parliamentary Secretary, Rosianne Cutajar, who practices a politics of clientelism, and is bank rolled by big business and people accused of assassination.”