Busuttil distances himself from Salvu Mallia: PN against abortion, euthanasia

PN leader Simon Busuttil says abortion, euthanasia won’t become law under his leadership but turns tables on Joseph Muscat ‘who is flirting with the idea’

PN leader Simon Busuttil forced to clarify party's position on abortion and euthanasia after Salvu Mallia's comments
PN leader Simon Busuttil forced to clarify party's position on abortion and euthanasia after Salvu Mallia's comments

The leader of the Nationalist Party Simon Busuttil was forced to issue a public statement distancing himself and the party from statements made by candidate Salvu Mallia on being pro-choice, which raised the hackles of the pro-life lobby.

Mallia, one of the PN’s 'star candidates', told the Sunday Times in an interview that he was at odds with the party’s conservative side, insisting that abortion and euthanasia were private matters which should not be regulated by the state. The following day, he declared on social media that he was against abortion, but in favour of "education".

The Gift of Life on Sunday expressed concern that the PN leadership had not distanced itself from Mallia’s comments, with Busuttil telling the party faithful in the morning that the PN was an inclusive party, allowing people to say things “without fear of retribution”.

But with an increasing number of conservatives and PN candidates voicing their disapproval of Mallia’s approach and statements, Busuttil on Monday issued a statement to declare that the PN was not open to the legislation of abortion or euthanasia.

“I reiterate that under my leadership, the Nationalist Party will not be open to the legislation of abortion or euthanasia. Whilst having people in the party with different views is a strength that I welcome, the Party’s position on abortion and euthanasia will not change under my leadership,” he said.

“The same cannot be said on Joseph Muscat who is clearly flirting with the idea of introducing one or both should he win the next election.”

On a November programme of Xtra on TVM, Muscat admitted that he was still opposed to the introduction of euthanasia, and that although stories like that of Joe Magro – the ALS sufferer and campaigner who says he would commit suicide unless allowed to undergo euthanasia – had left him speechless, but that he currently saw no solution to the impasse.

On abortion, Muscat has repeatedly declared himself to be against it.

Mallia has declared that he hated that the PN was conservative and that he was for euthanasia, divorce, gay marriage and “everything”.

“Why? Because I do not think they are things that should be regulated by a government. The government should provide a good education system, allowing people to think and decide for themselves. If I am suffering and want to die because I have had enough, why should some a**hole in Parliament decide whether I can do it or not?

“I will never condone these [conservative] policies. I am against abortion but I think it is something personal and should be decided by the person, not by a government. The government should provide guidelines and advice. Let’s face it, if someone wants an abortion they will have it. In Malta abortion was being done way back in the 1970s and 1980s.”

The Labour Party also chipped in, asking why Busuttil had not denounced Mallia’s view of Adolf Hitler, whom he derided as “progressive” in a comparison he struck with Joseph Muscat.

The full quote read: “Muscat is a tasteless crook who exploited all the weaknesses of society. For me this is a battle against evil. No dictator is ever up front about their intentions to screw you. Dictators pretend to be nice. If you look back at Adolf Hitler, he was very progressive. The first campaign against smoking was carried out by the Nazis. Society was affluent. That was Adolf Hitler. Was he good? I don’t think so!”

The Labour Party argued that Mallia had chosen to speak positively about Hitler, a dictator responsible of the biggest genocides and worst atrocities in human history.

“The fact that Simon Busuttil remained silent is not only worrying for the Nationalist Party, but more so for the country,” the PL said.

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