The Malta Independent 29 February 2020, Saturday

Parliament approves Vote 16, PN’s Zonqor motion defeated

Monday, 5 March 2018, 21:12 Last update: about 3 years ago

Parliament this evening unanimously approved the third and final reading of a constitutional amendment that will allow 16-year-olds to vote in general elections.

Both the PL and the PN had pledged to lower the voting age in their respective electoral manifestos.

The voting age in Local Council elections has already been lowered.

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While 16-year-olds can now vote in general elections, they cannot stand for election.

The government had previously said that the debate on the age of voting and the age of candidacy had had to be split because concerns were raised on the latter and the government did not want want progress on the former to stall. PM Joseph Muscat, however, had hinted that the road towards decreasing the age of candidacy was a ‘natural’ one.

The reform was spearheaded by Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia Portelli, who had said that more than 8,000 youths will now be able to vote in next year’s European Parliament elections.

In the meantime a special motion put forward by the PN calling on government to reverse the deal it struck with Sadeen Group and prevent the development of virgin land at Zonqor Point, Marsaskala, was defeated with 29 votes in favour and 35 against.

The debate was held on 8 February.

PN Leader Adrian Delia had called on the government to approach the subject in a non-partisan way, while also questioning why a company with no experience in education had been chosen. Delia had also accused the government of riding roughshod over people’s concerns and of acting in an undemocratic way. 

Replying, PM Muscat had said Delia had his facts wrong, and insisted that works on the Zonqor campus would only start once the Cospicua campus had reached full complement.

He had insisted that the PN’s concern that the Zonqor campus would end up being flats was “factually incorrect” and that the land could only be used for educational purposes.

Parliament also approved the 2018 budget, with the Opposition voting against.

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