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Updated | [WATCH] Evarist Bartolo backs constitutional amendment for AD representation

Labour MP Evarist Bartolo back constitutional amendment, says AD's 5,500 voters would be represented in parliament in a 'truly democratic system'

Nestor Laiviera
12 March 2013, 12:00am
Labour MP Evarist Bartolo with MaltaToday's Jurgen Balzan at the Naxxar counting hall.
Labour MP Evarist Bartolo with MaltaToday's Jurgen Balzan at the Naxxar counting hall.


Labour MP Evarist Bartolo has backed a call by Alternattiva Demokratika for constitutional amendments that would mean its 5,500 voters are represented in parliament.



AD won 5,500 votes in Saturday's election but will not be represented in parliament because the Maltese system elects MPs purely on the basis of their performance in each district.

However when only two political parties are elected to parliament, the number of their seats is automatically adjusted to reflected the proportion of their votes.

In comments to MaltaToday, Evarist Bartolo insisted that AD's 5,500 voters "should have a voice in parliament" and insisted that a country cannot be truly democratic unless it ensures that voters are being represented.

"If we had a truly democratic system, these 5,500 votes would have a voice in parliament," Bartolo said.

The Labour MP, who was elected on two districts, noted that despite not meeting a district quota, AD had nevertheless reached the national quota. "A system which is genuinely democratic cannot leave out people who, in a small country, amount to as many as 5,500."

Bartolo also augured that Malta will soon reach a position where the number of votes accurately translate into parliamentary seats, saying that "the better institutions reflect what is happening within the country, the better they would be able to work towards the country's benefit."

In a Facebook comment today, Bartolo again reiterated his call for AD's 5,500 to be represented in parliament.



"We have to work to ensure that the 5,500 who voted for Alternattiva Demokratika are respected as much as the other people who have a vote, and use it to have a voice in parliament. These 5,500 people pay tax like us, and the basic principle of representative democracy is 'No taxation without representation."

"A party which has the support of 5,500 people deserves to be represented in Parliament. Democratic institutions which are not open to a diversity of citizens will deteriorate and lose the confidence of the people.

"It is therefore in the interests of democratic society itself to safeguard the rights of its various groups, large or small, within it."

In reaction, AD endorsed Evarist Bartolo's call for AD parliamentary representation and electoral constitutional amendments early on Tuesday afternoon.

AD Chairperson Michael Briguglio thanked Bartolo, and said that AD's vote represents far more than a parliamentary quota.

"We have always striven to represent a portion of the population that entrusts us with its vote. AD is prepared to carry that responsibility and show that it can be entrusted with the democratic representation of its constituents".
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I also agree!
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GODFREY FARRUGIA
In addition, if AD, or any other party or independent candidate for that matter, wants to be elected, they should present a credible and coherent programme, not a hotch-potch of ideas and wishlists.
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GODFREY FARRUGIA
@ trevisan. The legislation does not differentiate between an individual (who is also considered to be a party) and a party.
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justin spiteri
Finally a voice of reason. In my opinion, even if there is a national minimum threshold of say 2% or more (to avoid a pandemonium) it would be fair enough. But today's rules are blatantly undemocratic and clearly designed to maintain a two-party system.
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Lino Micallef
Thawwadx l-imhuh Evarist tal poplu, kieku l-Alternattiva gabu 2001 vot kif beda jenfasizza Michael Briguglio min distrett wiehed kieku nghidlek ghandek ragun, imma le ma jistax jkun L-Alternattiva jkolla rappresentant fil parlament, allura xi nghidu ghal dawk il-kandidati li gabu 2001 voti li wirtu fl-ahhar u sabu ruhom ma telghux. Jekk jigri hekk fernezijja shiha. Il vot tieghi darba ohra zgur ma jiehdux Evarist minkejja jien laburist jekk qieghed jiehu din l-atitudini inspjegabbli. Ghal darba ohra nghid li l-anqas L-Alternattiva ma qalghet li jekk iggieb kwota ma Malta tiehu siggu , insistiet li jekk min distrett iggieb 2001 voti ttella siggu .
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@ man in the street Evarist is not referring to a particular candidate but to a whole party. The candidate's representation (PL or PN) has already been catered for on a party level. That's why what he is saying makes a lot of sense.
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George Busuttil
Mr Evarist Bartolo, you have just stolen center stage from our freshly appointed prime minister. My respect and full admiration for your explicit and unmistakeable statements.
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GODFREY FARRUGIA
With all due respect to Evarist Bartolo, if a candidate gains 5,500 votes aggregate from two districts, but not enough in each district to be elected, then he would have reached the national quota and should also have the right to be represented in Parliament. According to the Elections legislation, one man is a party, and what would be good for AD should also be good for each individual candidate.
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Winston John Sawyer
HEAR HEAR!!well said.
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Nikki Petroni
Thank you Evarist Bartolo! You have always impressed me as one of the best voices of reason in Malta, and you do so again! ... The Maltese electoral system is in need of a general overhaul. ... If we are making room for 4 additional PN candidates to preserve the proportional system, then we need to make room for 1 from AD since they 1.8% of the vote and proportionately speaking this is at least one MP. Anything less would be unfair.
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