Wednesday, 27 July 2011

MaltaToday: Updated | Divorce bill passes as Gonzi confirms ‘no’ in final parliamentary vote


Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi in parliament

Divorce bill passes as Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi confirms his repeated 'no' vote against the amended and completed divorce bill in the final vote in third reading.

10:52 Divorce Bill passes with 52 MPs voting in favour, 11 voting against, and five abstaining.

Among those voting against the Bill was Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, who earlier had also voted against the bill on a matter of conscience during the second reading of the bill.

He has now confirmed what he said in his parliamentary speech when he confessed that he would vote against the bill in all its stages in parliament.

Those others who voted against the Bill were Frederich Azzopardi, Jason Azzopardi, Tonio Borg, Giovanna Debono, Louis Deguara, Beppe Fenech Adami, Austin Gatt, Philip Mifsud, Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, Edwin Vassallo.

Five MPs abstained: Francis Agius, Tonio Fenech, Mario Galea, Peter Micallef, Clyde Pulis.

The voting patterns show that, out of a cabinet of nine, five members voted against, one abstained, and three voted in favour.

Labour MP Adrian Vassallo, who has been previously warned against the consequences of his ''no' vote in the bill's second reading, was absent from today's parliamentary sitting and votes.

10:08: The house has been adjured for 30 minutes.

9:25 A division vote was requested by Labour MP Joe Mizzi, who argued that a vote was required given how the amendments in question affected the referendum question which he said enjoyed the mandate of the public.

Only eight MPs – four cabinet members – voted against the Bill when voting in the committee stage as the amendments were read out in turn and approved. Peter Micallef abstained, while Clyde Pulis and Louis Deguara were away for the vote.

The MPs who voted against were Frederick Azzopardi, Giovanna Debono, Beppe Fenech Adami, Prime minister Lawrence Gonzi, Austin Gatt, Philip Mifsud, Carm Mifsud Bonnici and Edwin Vassallo.

The other 58 MPs voted in favour.

Later on, the House will vote on the Third Reading, the final vote in the legislative process.

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