Malta — a tiny, staunchly Catholic Mediterranean island — has voted in favour of legalizing divorce, according to the results of a referendum.
Malta is the last remaining European Union nation that bans divorce. But what had been billed as a historic referendum has ushered in a “new Malta,” according to a leading politician.
Sunday’s final results of the polling the day before showed that 52.67 per cent of people voted in favour of divorce, according to the Times of Malta.
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, who had campaigned against divorce, said parliament would respect the will of the people in the nonbinding referendum and work on legislation to legalize divorce.
“Even though the result is not what I wished for, now it is our duty to see that the will of the majority is respected,” Gonzi said in a televised speech reported by the newspaper.
After the Maltese government passes divorce legislation, only one country (aside from the Vatican) will not allow it: the Philippines.