PN leader candidate Bernard Grech has said his opinion on divorce has changed over the years, after he had campaigned against its legislation in Malta nine years ago.
“[My opinion] has changed on two levels,” Grech said in an interview with The Malta Independent. “It changed on a personal level where I, a year to a year and a half after the referendum, began as a lawyer filing divorce cases.”
“So I worked with the law as a lawyer and I felt that I had an obligation to help those who had a legal right to use that right. I didn’t keep stomping my feet and saying no. But obviously I needed some time to understand it.”
“Everyone has their own walk in life, and to change one’s understanding from one day to the next I think that person would not be honest with themselves.”
“I also changed my opinion on another level. At the time I was a private individual and today I am a politician and as such I have an obligation, as a politician, to look at many other aspects and not only the details and difficulties with the legal articles themselves.”
Grech had campaigned against divorce in 2011, arguing that he wanted children of separated couples to keep on hoping that their parents will someday unite, something which he said was possible with separation but not with divorce.
However, the majority of Maltese people disagreed and voted in favour of divorce.
Grech said he was a private individual back then and had a right to express his opinion against divorce, although he said his main gripe was with the law as it was written.
“I did not agree with a number of things and I am on record speaking on a number of programmes that I was not in agreement with a number of articles within the bill itself,” he said. “I was never absolutely against someone starting a new life, remarrying, but yes because it was perceived that I was a part of that campaign then yes, I was perceived as being anti-divorce. But that was my opinion that day.”
Grech said he doesn’t mind people considering him to be a conservative.
“We know that liberalism is not controlled by Joseph Muscat’s or Robert Abela’s government. It is good to have liberal ideas and thoughts but one must also have wisdom and the need to really work for the good of the country and not for the good of the few,” he said.