Opposition splits on domestic violence law

Domestic violence law was approved by parliament at the last stage with eight Nationalist MPs and two PD MPs voting with the government • Former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil voted in favour 

The Gender-based Violence and Domestic Violence Bill was approved by parliament after 10 Opposition MPs  vote with the government
The Gender-based Violence and Domestic Violence Bill was approved by parliament after 10 Opposition MPs vote with the government

Ten Opposition members voted with the government on the domestic violence bill on Wednesday. 

The MPs voted in favour of the bill despite the fact that several MPs from the Opposition benches had expressed serious concerns about the removal of the reference to the unborn child in the law. 

The Gender-based Violence and Domestic Violence Bill passed with 44 voting in favour and 20 voting against. 

Nationalist MPs Karol Aquilina, Jason Azzopardi, Simon Busuttil, Claudette Buttigieg, Therese Comodini Cachia, Mario de Marco, Karl Gouder, Chris Said, and Democratic Party MPs Godfrey Farrugia, Marlene Farrugia voted in favour of the bill.

Previously, Opposition whip Robert Cutajar had said that the parliamentary group would be proposing an amendment so that the reference to the unborn child is retained. PN MP Edwin Vassallo had voted against the bill in second reading.

The law will transpose the Istanbul Convention on domestic violence.

The vote was immediately picked upon by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in a tweet, and Equality Minister Helena Dalli questioned the PN leader's conscience in voting against the bill.





In a press release following the vote, the Nationalist party said that Adrian Delia kept his word and allowed a free vote to the parliamentary group. It clarified that the entire parliamentary group agrees that the party would introduce the reference to the unborn child once it is in government.

The Labour party said that Delia gave the “worst example” when he voted against the bill. “The vote not only confirmed that the Nationalist party is split, but also that Delia was only interested in voting against a bill put forward by the government, and not the people’s best interest.”

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