AD calls for all young voters to be given the right to vote

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AD - “Give all young voters the right to vote”Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said that the Nationalist and Labour Parties are acting in a non-democratic manner by excluding 2,800 18-year old voters from voting in the forthcoming referendum.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said that the “Nationalist and Labour duopoly is once again acting in a way which reduces democracy to a cartel between the two parties. Not only have they devised legislation which excludes other political parties and movements from the referendum electoral process, but they are also both to blame for the exclusion of 2,800 18 year old voters from the forthcoming divorce referendum. Instead of blaming each other both parties should reach parliamentary consensus to allow these voters to exercise the basic right to vote.”

Dirk Urpani, AD Spokesperson for Youth and Sports, said that, “it is very discouraging to see the leaders of our country shape democracy to how it suits their needs, especially when it comes to young people, who should be actively encouraged to participate openly in democracy with the use of their vote. Instead of fighting over how to prevent 2800 young people from voting, our Government should be seeking to introduce the 16+ vote so that this democracy can be more representative. In itself, the fact that some people who will not be entitled to vote will be 18 years and 8 months old clearly shows that Malta’s electoral system requires change.”

David Friggieri, AD Spokesperson for Justice and Home Affairs, said that “we should resist the temptation to regard this issue as a purely technical matter which one of the two parties may or may not have made a mess of. We should certainly refuse to get caught up in the PN and PL blame game. The truth of the matter is that this voter eligibility charade has become a staple of this country’s electoral process. Yesterday it was residents of old people’s homes, today it’s 2,800 young people. There appears to be a worrying element of arbitrariness and uncertainty built into the system. This factor alone raises serious concerns about the country’s democratic processes.”

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