The Malta Independent 12 May 2021, Wednesday

Parliament approves ‘corrective mechanism’ to increase female participation

Wednesday, 14 April 2021, 21:33 Last update: about 27 days ago

A Bill that will lead to increased female participation in Parliament was approved on Wednesday with 63 votes in favour and two against.

The ‘corrective mechanism’ will allow – in case only two parties are elected to Parliament – the addition of up to 12 seats (six on each side of the house) if one gender gets fewer than 40% of seats.

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Speaking before the vote, Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis described this step as a “historical moment” in local politics. Both sides, he said, were taking an important step towards equality in Parliament.

Nationalist MP Hermann Schiavone said the Opposition was disappointed that the amendments it put forward, which would have covered the addition of seats even if a third party is elected, were not approved.

The Opposition had also proposed that casual elections would be held immediately after an election, putting the Prime Minister in a position to form a Cabinet without haste.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Robert Abela said this was a historic day for Malta and another step forward towards gender equality.

The Bill will now go before President George Vella for approval.

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