Alternattiva Demokratika’s spokesperson for disability issues, Dr. Claire Azzopardi Lane, said: “The European Union has stated that it is thus crucial that people with intellectual disabilities have their voices heard in European elections and that MEPs commit to upholding the latter’s rights while in office. These people are often denied their rights to vote, to political participation or to be included in society. Five million Europeans with intellectual disabilities are currently at risk of not being able to choose the politicians representing them in the European Parliament.
“Inclusion Europe has called on the future legislature to abolish all measures that exclude citizens with disabilities from the electoral process and to ensure equal recognition before the law for all people, regardless of disability. Institutionalization, the removal of legal capacity, as well as the lack of accessible and understandable information on both the electoral process and the content of political programmes, are keeping persons with intellectual disabilities from exercising their right to vote, and thus further perpetuating a model of social exclusion. This right is clear in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Malta ratified in October 2012.”
AD Deputy Chairperson, Carmel Cacopardo, said: “AD has long been advocating for the right of persons with disability to chose their preferred method of voting, being the conventional method, using existing Braille and audio templates or the controversial trusted friend method.”AD also lobbies in favour of an IT hub were persons with diverse impairments can vote using accessible technology.AD Chairperson Prof. Arnold Cassolla reconfirmed the European Union’s beliefs that supporting people with intellectual disabilities in choosing their elected leaders was the measure of a truly strong Union which values all its citizens equally.
Carmel Cacopardo, Deputat Chairperson tal-Alternattiva Demokratika, qal : “L-Alternattiva Demokratika ilha żmien titkellem dwar id-dritt ta’ persuni b’diżabilita` li jagħżlu l-metodu li jippreferu biex jivvutaw, jekk hux il-metodu konvenzjonali, jew b’sistemi ta’ Braille jew awdjo li diġa jeżistu jew li jieħdu persuna li jafdaw magħhom biex tivvutalhom. AD titkellem ukoll favur it twaqqief ta’ ċentru tal-informatika li jippermetti li nies b’forom differenti ta’ diżabilita` biex ikunu jistgħu jivvutaw permezz ta’ sistemi teknoloġiċi apposta.”
Ic-Chairperson ta’ AD Prof. Arnold Cassola, sostna t-twemmin tal-Unjoni Ewropea li l-appoġġ ta’ persuni b’diżabilitajiet intellettwali biex jagħżlu lil min jirrappreżentahom hija miżura ta’ Unjoni b’saħħitha li tagħti l-istess valur liċ-ċittadini kollha tagħha. Għall-kuntrarju ta’ Malta, l-UE tpoġġi fil-prattika dak li tippriedka.