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Monday, May 30, 2011

Maltese Vote In Favor Of Legalizing Divorce

Overwhelmingly Catholic Malta has voted in favour of legalising divorce, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi announced Sunday after a referendum in one of the only two countries where it is still banned. Gonzi said it was now up the Mediterranean archipelago's parliament to legalise the dissolution of marriage. "This is not the result that I wished for, but the will of the people has to be respected and parliament should enact a law for the introduction of divorce," the conservative prime minister said. The divorce measure was passed by a majority of 53.2 percent of those who cast ballots, although nearly a quarter of eligible voters did not bother to go to the polls, election officials said. Apart from the Vatican city-state, Malta is one of only two countries in the world, the Philippines is the other that bans divorce. Chile was the last country to legalise divorce in 2004 after overwhelming public pressure. Saturday's non-binding referendum asked the island's 306,000 mainly Catholic voters whether parliament should introduce a new law that would allow couples to obtain a divorce after four years of separation

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