Openly pro-choice PN activist Emma Portelli Bonnici has announced she will contest the next general election on the ninth and tenth districts.
“I look forward to contributing towards the regeneration our country is desperate for, and I am confident that my campaign, based on my values of integrity, transparency and consistency, will be a fresh take on the current political landscape,” said Portelli Bonnici, who until recently was secretary-general of the party’s youth wing MŻPN.
“As a lawyer and activist, I have always strived to apply a people-led and community-driven approach, and it is with this same approach that I am determined to work for the benefit of everyone in society regardless of their background. People before profit. Community before capital.”
Portelli Bonnici, 28, is openly pro-choice, stating in a 2020 interview with MaltaToday that she doesn’t hide the fact from the PN, even though they disagree with her.
“But in my experience, people are very respectful in their disagreement,” she said back then. “In fact, I feel it’s almost encouraged: because having different opinions makes for a much more interesting discussion, than only ever talking to people who agree with you 100%.”
Portelli Bonnici had in 2018 addressed a massive protest in Valletta demanding justice for assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. A year later, she joined four other PN activists in calling for a confidence vote in then-leader Adrian Delia following the party’s thrashing at the MEP and local council election.
That attempt failed but Delia ended up losing a leadership election a year later.
Earlier this year, Portelli Bonnici set up a new online feminist group called Għajjejt u Xbajt.
Portelli Bonnici has launched a website, describing herself as an active PN supporter, but one who doesn’t have blind faith in political parties.
“As an individual highly interested and involved in political activism, Emma has actively supported the PN in recent years,” she wrote.
“Nonetheless, she has done this whilst also understanding that blind faith in one’s party of choice is no way forward, and has critiqued the party on those matters she feels bypass the need for partisan loyalty – particularly when it comes to equality and human rights.”
“In doing so, Emma continues to represent the existing progressive and liberal members that are not characteristic of the party.”
She also highlighted her activism in favour of sexual health and the de-stigmatisation of conversations around the topic, including student politics with KSU and the LGBT+ group We Are.
Her candidature comes amidst a national debate on abortion, triggered by a private members’ bill by independent MP Marlene Farrugia calling for its decriminalisation. The PN has pledged to vote against it on the grounds of its belief that life starts from conception.
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