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Scoop Link: Why I Didn't Vote - Ashraf Choudhary

MP: Why I Didn't Vote On Sex Bill

By HELEN TUNNAH deputy political editor
For Full Story see…

New Zealand's first Muslim MP, Ashraf Choudhary, says his decision to abstain on the vote decriminalising prostitution was not wimpish or a "cop out".

"I had a considered and deliberate view that I would not vote for this bill because of my faith, my background - and my community would not expect me to vote for it.

"I'm pleased I didn't vote for it.

"But for me to vote against the bill would have negated the potential benefits for those unfortunate women who are in that situation."

"I said to them I would not vote for it because it is against my own beliefs and it is against the community's beliefs."

Dr Choudhary's abstention and the surprise decision of Labour MP Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, a church elder, to support the bill secured the win.

Both said Prime Minister Helen Clark did not lobby them to support the bill.

For Full Story see…

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