The Malta Independent 20 November 2018, Tuesday

It’s the law: local council elections, with 16-year-olds voting, must be held in 2015

Malta Independent Sunday, 27 July 2014, 14:30 Last update: about 5 years ago

The government has been busy adjusting the spin regarding whether there will be local council elections next year and the year after, but no one seems to have looked at the law itself, which was signed into law by President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca herself on 27 May this year.

The law clearly states that people over 16 whose name is on the electoral register can vote in the local council elections that will be held in 2015.

But Justice Minister Owen Bonnici, who answered a series of questions put by Robert Cutajar (PN) on Friday, seemed oblivious to this.

First of all, he denied that a decision has been taken by government, which is how the public at large perceives it.

He added that wide consultation will be held with stakeholders, including the Opposition, after which a decision will be taken.

Mr Cutajar objected: Parliament voted to extend voting rights to 16-year-olds as recent as last November and no money problems were mentioned (money being mentioned as the reason to postpone local council elections to the next European Parliament elections) so why the U-turn?

Minister Bonnici denied this is a U-turn. Today, 16-year-olds can vote if an election for a local council is held (such as in cases where the local council is dismissed).

But the law is very clear: it states that 16-year-olds can vote in local council elections in 2015 and afterwards.

Meanwhile, a seminar that was meant to be held on 5 July at Verdala Palace in continuation of a previous seminar held last October was called off just a few days before with no reason being given.

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