More women will be represented in Parliament if no more than two parties are elected after the next election as the House on Wednesday approved a corrective mechanism to ensure gender parity. 

The Bill was approved from third reading with 63 votes for, two against.

The next step before the Bill becomes law is President George Vella’s approval.

Through the amendments, which will only come into force if two parties are elected to Parliament, if a gender gets less than 40% of the available seats, a maximum of 12 seats - six on either side of the House, can be added.

Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said this was a historical moment in local politics with both the government and the Opposition taking an important step towards equal representation in Parliament.

But Nationalist MP Hermann Schiavone expressed the Opposition’s regret that its amendments, which would have covered the addition of seats even if a third party is elected, were ignored.

The PN, he said, had also proposed that casual elections should be held immediately following the election for the Prime Minister to be in a better position to immediately form cabinet.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Robert Abela said this was a historic day for Malta and another step forward towards gender equality. It was also further proof of the government’s commitment towards a progressive and inclusive public policy.

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