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PN may support joint elections, but not in 2019

The Nationalist Party would agree in principle to the Prime Minister’s proposal to hold European and local elections concurrently if the transition took a number of years, a PN spokesman said.

Earlier PN leader Simon Busuttil tweeted to say postponing next year’s polls to coincide with the 2019 MEP contest would go against the spirit of recent amendments granting 16-year-olds the right to vote in local elections.

Dr Busuttil branded Joseph Muscat’s proposal as “vote 16 = vote 21”, meaning that the current crop of 16-year-olds would 21 before they would be able to cast their ballot.

On Sunday the Prime Minister argued the move would save money and reduce political campaigning as the Maltese were suffering from campaign fatigue.

A PN spokesman told Times of Malta that postponing the next two rounds of local council elections, set for next year and 2017, would mean extending some local government mandates by up to eight years.

This would not bode well for democracy as people would be denied the right to express themselves for a very long time.

“We would be open to discuss such a proposal so long as the changes are introduced gradually in the next legislature,” the spokesman said.

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