The Malta Independent 14 April 2021, Wednesday

Divorce reform: ‘I will not remain passive before people’s suffering’ – PM

Monday, 1 March 2021, 17:06 Last update: about 2 months ago
Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash
Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

Prime Minister Robert Abela said Monday that he will not remain passive before people’s suffering, hence why the waiting time for divorce will be slashed and, in some cases removed.

He was speaking in Parliament in the debate on a Bill that will see the 2011 divorce laws reformed. Currently, separated couples have to wait four years until they can apply for divorce.

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“We permitted this situation for the past ten years, but I won’t permit it any longer,” Abela said. “I will not remain passive before the suffering of people.”

Abela said the best form of closure after a failed marriage is a new relationship. “So what sense does it make to force them to wait four years until they can get married again? Why should they be condemned? Who are we to judge them?”

The Prime Minister said the government wants to help those who want to start a new family, who want a second chance.

He turned his guns against the Opposition Leader, Bernard Grech, who had “created a lobby group to lead an aggressive campaign against the introduction of this right.”

Despite the referendum result, Abela said, many PN MPs had voted against the will of the people. “These included Jason Azzopardi, who said he was voting against divorce on grounds of his religious beliefs.”

“There is no doubt that Bernard Grech will now act as is politically convenient, but back then he tried to push his conservatism on others. We are moving this reform for the people.”

He accused the Opposition of negativism, “never coming up with a proposal.”

Grech, he said, had not just shown indifference to families who were suffering. “He went beyond and campaigned to deny them the right to divorce.”

“This is not a game of chess, this is about people’s emotions, it is about their lives. We want to give them a second chance at life.”

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