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Bernard Grech Backtracks On Warning To Pro-Choicers And Insists Freedom Of Thought Is Sacrosanct

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Opposition Leader Bernard Grech has taken a step back from his blunt warning that he will not allow pro-choice people to represent or even form part of the PN.

“When I said that nobody will be allowed to be pro-abortion and remain in PN, what I meant is that nobody will be allowed to campaign for abortion legislation under the PN ticket,” Grech told Times of Malta.

“This is an issue on which I am not ready to compromise and on which our statute does not even permit compromise.”

Arguing that freedom of thought is “sacrosanct”, he said everyone is willing to join the PN “regardless of their beliefs”, so long as they stand by the party’s stance against the decriminalisation of abortion.

Earlier this week, Grech issued a strong warning to pro-choice politicians and activists after the PN faced backlash by pro-life activists against candidate Emma Portelli Bonnici, who is openly pro-choice.

“The issue of abortion, for me, is closed. This party was, is and will always remain against abortion,” the PN leader said.

“No one, and I repeat, no one who is in favour of abortion will represent or form part of the party as long as I am the leader. Not in the past, not now and not in the future.”

However, this strong stance faced backlash from pro-choice activists, including within the party.

Grech has now insisted he was only reacting to accusations that the PN was coordinating the arrest and interrogation of people over alleged hate speech against Portelli Bonnici.

“PN was being unjustly and incorrectly accused of coordinating the arrest of people who were expressing pro-life sentiments online. Instead of arresting Joseph Muscat, some members of the police force were going out of their way to create an impression that PN was persecuting pro-life individuals. This is an outright lie,” he said.

What do you make of Bernard Grech’s leadership so far? 

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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