[WATCH] Tweet lands Prime Minister in Alternattiva's crosshairs

Alternattiva Demokratika has accused the Prime Minister and the Labour Party of breaching legislation regulating the financing of political parties, after the party made use of Girgenti Palace on Saturday

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks
21 February 2017, 2:14pm
Joseph Muscat tweeted this 'selfie' of Labour's parliamentary group at Girgenti... landing him in hot water with Alternattiva Demokratika
Joseph Muscat tweeted this 'selfie' of Labour's parliamentary group at Girgenti... landing him in hot water with Alternattiva Demokratika
Tweet lands Prime Minister in Alternattiva's crosshairs
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and the Labour Party (PL) were in breach of legislation regulating the financing of political parties, after the PL made use of Girgenti Palace without having any right to do so, Alternattiva Demokratika has claimed. 

On Saturday, Muscat posted a selfie taken at Girgenti featuring members of the parliamentary group. "Part of the team during a break of the Labour's parliamentary group meeting in Girgenti," Muscat tweeted.

Party officials met Chief Electoral Commissioner Joseph Church on Tuesday and asked him to investigate the matter, which came to light after Muscat tweeted a photo on Saturday showing him with the Labour parliamentary group at Girgenti. 

AD Deputy Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo, addressing journalists after the meeting with Church, said he had urged the commission to act immediately to ensure that both the Labour Party and the Prime Minister realise they are subject to the rule of law. 

AD has requested action against Muscat as the person responsible for national property administered by the Office of the Prime Minister
AD has requested action against Muscat as the person responsible for national property administered by the Office of the Prime Minister
"In today's meeting, we focused on one concrete and specific case," he said. "There are undoubtedly others, but the Electoral Commission was asked to focus its investigation and action on this specific case, made public by the prime minister himself through a tweet."

He said AD had requested action against Muscat as the person responsible for national property administered by the Office of the Prime Minister. 

The party also asked that action be taken against the Labour Party which could not accept the use of national property, which under Article 34 Ch 544 of the laws of Malta, regulating the financing of political parties, is considered a donation and therefore illegal. 

"We understand the Electoral Commission might find itself in an uncomfortable position, considering makeup of board and political basis," AD chairperson Arnold Cassola said. "We will wait and hope that it rises above party politics and take immediate action."

He said such things are often taken for granted in this country and those in power choose to ignore parameters and regulations, while the general public remains unaware. 

"This is simple," Cassola said. "Political parties cannot accept any donations from the state, and the use of the Girgenti Palace is considered a donation under law."

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Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...