The Malta Independent 26 September 2021, Sunday

No free vote on gay marriage? Malta has become like North Korea – Tonio Fenech

Saturday, 8 July 2017, 16:14 Last update: about 5 years ago

Former Nationalist Minister Tonio has lashed out at his own party but also at the Labour Party, saying that not allowing a free vote to MPs on a matter of conscience has turned Malta into a country like North Korea.

Writing on Facebook, the former finance minister said the PN had fought for democracy and freedom of expression.

But the fact that the PN has presented 80 amendments to the marriage equality bill clearly shows that this is not the law the PN was contemplating in its electoral manifesto, Fenech said.


It is therefore incorrect for the party to use the argument against a free vote by saying that gay marriage was in the PN’s election programme.

How can the PN say it is the “party of values” when it does not listen to an objection raised by one of its own MPs, Fenech said, a clear reference to the position taken by Edwin Vassallo, who voted against the law in Parliament on Wednesday.

If the PN and PL are afraid of giving a free vote on this issue, Malta has become like North Korea where anyone who objects is punished, Fenech said.

In this country, one can insult an image of Jesus, but one cannot disagree with the elimination of marriage as we know it, he said, adding that the parties are doing this not because they believed in what they are doing but to gain votes.

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