The Malta Independent 27 May 2019, Monday

No instructions for Air Malta to issue subsidised tickets for hunting referendum... yet

Monday, 26 January 2015, 11:00 Last update: about 5 years ago

The government has not yet instructed Air Malta to issue subsidised tickets for Maltese nationals living abroad to vote in person for the referendum and local council elections in April.

Low-cost flights were offered during the divorce referendum in 2011 and for general elections prior to that. Replying to questions put by The Malta Independent, an Air Malta spokesperson explained that, normally, Air Malta is asked to provide the low-cost tickets and the government then pays the difference.

Since it is the government who subsidies the tickets, Air Malta does not incur any additional expenses as a result of this measure, the spokesperson said. However, the cost is still borne by the taxpayer.

When asked whether Maltese nationals residing abroad are given the opportunity to cast their vote at Maltese embassies, the Nationalist Party said that it agrees with such a proposal but the electoral law would have to be amended for this to be made possible. Alternattiva Demokratika deputy chairman Carmel Cacopardo, who is also one of the leading figures of the Coalition Against Spring Hunting, also said that parliament would have to change the electoral law.

"Parliamentarians might not be able to manage this in time for the spring hunting referendum but, even if they could, they would probably not," he said. "AD has been calling for a change in the relevant law for ages but the two main parties are just not interested," he continued.

When asked if the government should offer the low fares, Mr Cacopardo said the same system as usual should be used. 

 

 

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