Electoral laws must change in Maltese constitutional reform, Alternattiva says

‘Proportionality between votes cast and parliamentary seats not a right reserved for the exclusive perusal of the PN and the PL’

Malta’s electoral legislation needs to change in order to ensure that every vote cast by a Maltese citizen is valued, Cacopardo said
Malta’s electoral legislation needs to change in order to ensure that every vote cast by a Maltese citizen is valued, Cacopardo said

Alternattiva Demokratika is supporting the abrogation of Article 2 of the Maltese Constitution, which enshrines the country’s religion of Roman Catholicism in the supreme law.

“Malta is now a lay state and that this fact should be reflected in the constitutional reform through an abrogation of article 2 of the Constitution. This would reflect the great strides forward made by the Maltese nation as a result of the divorce referendum as well as through the introduction and recognition of civil rights for the LGBTIQ community,” AD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said.

A preliminary discussion outlining proposals for constitutional reform by the Green Party, was held during a meeting with the committee led by the President of the Republic Marie Louise Coleiro, and also made up of representatives of the Nationalist Party and the Labour Party.

Cacopardo said a revised constitution should reflect Malta’s historic strides and the way the country embraces ethical pluralism. “Instead of the Constitution linking with one religious set of beliefs, the Roman Catholic, it should spell out its respect for all religions compatible with the democratic state.”

AD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo emphasised that AD’s proposals have already been in the public domain for a long time. “Malta’s electoral legislation needs to change in order to ensure that every vote cast by a Maltese citizen is valued and that proportionality between votes cast and parliamentary seats elected is not a right reserved for the exclusive perusal of the PN and the PL. But that in fact it is applicable to all parties, subject to a 2.5% national threshold.”

AD’s candidate for Europe, the LGBTIQ activist Mina Tolu, also emphasised AD’s stand on the need for a gender balance inside parliament not just between men and women, but also for people “who identify themselves with neither of these genders, should they decide to contest elections.”

Alternattiva Demokratika also discussed the need that the President of the Republic should be elected by an electoral college that includes local councils.

Cacopardo also said the Constitution must protect the environment as well as ensuring that each Maltese citizen has the right to take the government to court if it fails in carrying out its duties. “Together with a proposal to introduce the right to a propositional referendum this would strength the democratic process. In the coming weeks AD will present a document detailing all of our proposals to the Constitutional reform steering committee led by the President of the Republic.”

“The Constitution, in its present form is the result of debates over an almost 60-year time-frame, and the consolidated compromises within seem awkward in our present-day reality. We need to understand the context which led to these conclusions and compromises because they led to the country moving forward. In order to improve our Constitution we cannot start afresh but we must appreciate the achievements of our predecessors and plan the next steps on this basis. This will lead us to improve the situation and produce a better constitutional document.”

More in National