16 September 2014

Four-year postponement for local council elections

 - Thursday, 17 July 2014, 21:27

A proposed bill in Parliament, tabled by the government, amending the Local Council Act would see no local council elections until 2019, sources have told The Malta Independent.

This was also confirmed this evening by the Opposition Leader, Simon Busuttil, during an adjournment speech in Parliament.

A few months ago, Parliament unanimously approved a bill that would allow teens over the age of 16 to vote in local council elections. However, according to this newsroom’s information, then such an approved bill would essentially be useless until 2019. This would mean that those turning 16 this year and who were so excited about the prospect of being able to vote would not be able to vote in a local council election until the age of 21.

A campaign called vote 16 had been rolled out prior to the bill’s acceptance, and several campaign stunts featured excited 16 and 17 year olds.

A survey carried out by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ during January and February 2014 showed that 80 percent of Malta’s youth had agreed with decreasing the voting age.

The first reading of the proposed bill would amendthe Local Council’s Act sources have told this newsroom, adding that it would effectively halt all votes for councils until 2019.

On the other hand, this could be a move to bring all local council elections into one block, rather than having elections occurring at different intervals for groups of councils.

An issue with this is that political parties have in the past used local council elections to get a feel of where they stand and as such the PN would miss out on this chance next year.

Earlier this year the Coalition for the Abolition of Spring Hunting hoped that the referendum would take place during the local council vote next year. A question needs to be raised. If the bill in fact does cancel next year’s local council votes, then would the referendum vote still go through?

In June, a PN spokesman said that it would support the grouping of council elections in order to save money however these changes would need to be introduced gradually in the next legislature.

When discussing the topic at the time, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat argued that the move would not only save money, but reduce political campaigning. 


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George Calleja says:
18 July 2014 12:15

Pass wara l-iehor resqin lejn id-dittatura. Il-gvern qed jaghmel li jrid u fl-istess hin jghaddi z-zmien bil-poplu. Malli jiftah halqu xi hadd mal-ewwel jghajjat Joseph li huwa negattiv. Prepotenza u arroganza fl-aqwa taghha. Ma jirrispetta lil hadd. Ghandu l-wicc jghid li l-oppozizzjoni ghandha taghlaq halqha. Sirna qisna c-Cina. Issa iz-zghazagh li qed jghalqu 16 il-sena mmuttaw ....jew huma biss pupazzi f'idejn il-gvern?

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Charlie Brown says:
18 July 2014 09:25

Well if it saves money and brings elections all together that is good.

For those turning 16 don't worry you're not missing much as you'll only be voting for someone to the elite group who will work endlessly for his/her own pocket.

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steven micallef says:
18 July 2014 09:07

Mela nessa simon li 5 snien illu diga bidilna il ligi tal kunsili lokali min 3 snien gew 4 snien ghax l arrgument kien kien qed ikollna hafna elezzjonijiet  fuq xulxien u issa inbidlet id diska,u  dak iz zmien hadd ma qatt jighd ghad demokrazzija hija fil periklu ara veru ma tistax tafdah li partit nozzjonalista illum jighd haga u ada jighd ohra bi skuzza ghax hemm kap gdid

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John Vassallo says:
18 July 2014 07:29

To my Dear Leader.
It is said: What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the Holy Name of Liberty, Democracy or to save Money. Mahatma Gandhi.
You are doing just fine you have destroyed the fiber of a nation now you want to silence our right to vote.

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JJ Micallef says:
18 July 2014 07:07

Back to the 80's! A dangerous bunch of clowns.

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Julian Borg says:
18 July 2014 05:33

We will now hear Joseph Muscat say ad nauseum that this 'clever move' will save millions of Euros. The Maltese electorate, fixated as it is with cash in their pocket will lap it up. What price democracy?

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J. Busuttil says:
18 July 2014 00:23

Did any one suggest that we are on our way to dictatorship ?

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Antoine Vella says:
17 July 2014 23:19

In some ways the situation is similar to that of 1981. Labour supporters will be quick to point out that in 1981 the MLP did not have an electoral majority while the PL has an ample one.

The similarity, however, lies in the eagerness of Muscat to attack democracy and curtail civil rights, of which the right to a free vote is the most important.

An extraordinary situation is looming and I trust the PN will take appropriate measures. We have to stand up for our rights and Malta will not proceed with business as usual.

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G Tonna says:
17 July 2014 22:28

Muscat qed jibza  li ser tibda it-tiq tan-nizla ghal Malta. 

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C Cassar says:
17 July 2014 22:27

How can a government which supposedly believes in democracy do such a thing?

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Jeremy Stanton says:
17 July 2014 22:13

It would also mean the hunters get another four years of hip-shooting at anything that flies!!!

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