The Malta Independent 17 August 2022, Wednesday

Ann Fenech to refuse seat on PN executive if elected by female quota

Malta Independent Saturday, 25 May 2013, 09:00 Last update: about 9 years ago

PN councillors today will choose the two deputy leaders, the president of the general council, and 13 members of the executive committee in what promises to be a late night at the PN headquarters in Pietà.

Being the only contestant in the race Mario de Marco is set to be confirmed as deputy leader for parliamentary affairs, while Beppe Fenech Adami is the frontrunner in the race with Claudette Buttigieg to become the PN’s first ever deputy leader for party affairs.

In the other election incumbent president of the general council Paula Mifsud Bonnici is being challenged by Louis M Bonnici.

While the deputy leadership is be the highest prize on offer, the election for the executive committee election has turned out to be the most hotly-contested and evenly balanced in recent years. This might result in a number of high-profile candidates not making the cut.

Ann Fenech, who is among the 43 candidates bidding to win one of the 13 seats up for grabs, has declared that she will not take up her seat if she only makes it through the female quota. According to the PN statute four of the 13 general council representatives sitting on the executive committee have to be women.

Dr Fenech, a lawyer by profession who specialises in maritime law, rose to prominence in the aftermath of the PN’s landslide defeat when she turned down several offers to run for the leadership.

Contacted yesterday by The Malta Independent, she said that she only learnt about these female quotas, which were introduced during the tenure of former secretary general Joe Saliba, after she had already submitted her nomination.  

Dr Fenech said that throughout her career she always militated against the principle of positive discrimination, and thus felt obliged to inform PN councillors about her views on female quotas through a letter.

“I wanted to clear my conscience with councillors in case I would be elected and refuse to take a seat due to my views against quotas”.

 On the other hand she was keen to stress that she does not want to be perceived as being arrogant by setting the benchmark too high.

“It is simply a matter of principle,” she reiterated. “I think it would be extremely unfair for me to take a place of a man who obtained more preferences than I did, simply because of my gender”.

In total seven female candidates are contesting, meaning that at least four of them are guaranteed a seat on the executive committee regardless of the level of support they receive.

Voting will take place between 10am and 9pm at the party headquarters in Pietà and between 10am and 6.30pm at the PN club in Victoria.

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