Substituting the Roman Catholic religion from being that of the state to that of the majority and banning the sale of citizenship are among the positions on Constitutional Reform adopted by the University Students' Council.
The position paper, published on Thursday and endorsed by 18 student organisations, also calls for removing the non-alignment clause, adding EU citizenship, increasing the President’s powers, and having fewer MPs on a full-time basis with a correspondingly higher salary.
The KSU – Kunsill Studenti Universitarji also urged the President to convene the Constitutional Convention, noting that the essential reforms passed over the summer were needed, but the way the changes were adopted “left much to be desired, given the heavy-handed approach and lack of dialogue with respect to the proposed reforms”.
KSU president Matthew Xuereb said the prospect of a holistic Constitutional Reform had been raised time and time again over the past two legislatures, but the promised Constitutional Convention had not materialised.
“It is long overdue for civil society to be properly consulted and included in the process. For this country to move forward, we must have a truly inclusive national debate on what our identity, as expressed in our Constitution, should be, including all factions of society,” Xuereb said.
“Debating our Republic’s institutions and principles is not an academic exercise, but rather, a duty of citizenry.”
The urgency of the convention was further heightened by the continuing political and constitutional fallout from the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, while the functioning of institutions and the rule of law have been placed under both a local and international spotlight, the national students' union said.
The proposals also include appointing the Attorney General and the Police Commissioner through a qualified majority; providing for the public financing of political parties; prohibiting prime ministers from becoming presidents; and creating a Council of State to assist the President in exercising his functions.
The document also lists allowing technocratic cabinet members and having a fixed term for Parliament.
In publishing it, the KSU said it aimed to represent its 13,000 constituents, if and when the Convention was convened, through close consultation with its member organisations and the student body at large.
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