Election Playbook: Brussels bubble vs Malta muddle

Labour brings Brussels politics to Malta and Cassola wins the KNŻ debate – here’s day 14 of the election campaign

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Brussels bother: During a press conference, Labour candidates criticised the European People’s Party (EPP) – the group to which Roberta Metsola and David Casa belong – for not signing a declaration to refuse normalising alliances with far-right countries or radical groups. This declaration calls for European democratic parties to reject any normalisation, cooperation or alliance with the far-right. This is causing much ado in Brussels, where S&D, Renew, the Greens and the Left have all signed this declaration. It came up after European Commissioner president Ursula von der Leyen, who hails from the EPP, said she would be open to a deal with the European Conservatives and Reformists group. This all started after an MEP was attacked for political reasons, and the Nationalist Party pointed out that Metsola expressed solidarity with the MEP mere hours after the attack.

Animal rights: A couple of Maltese voluntary groups are pleading to the electorate to use their vote wisely on 8 June. The Malta Society for the Protection and Care of Animals is asking candidates to make several pledges to protect animal welfare if elected. In turn, the association will encourage all animal lovers, particularly young voters, to exercise their right and vote for candidates that have taken this pledge. Meanwhile, the Malta Association of Public Health Medicine is calling on people to “vote with health in mind”, meaning to vote for candidates who prioritise collective health and wellbeing.

A Cassola win: Last Friday, the KNŻ held a candidates’ debate and used an innovative format whereby the audience would vote for the candidate who convinced them the most after each round of debates. The initial line-up of thirteen candidates was whittled down until two candidates remained – Labour’s Steve Ellul and independent candidate Arnold Cassola. Turns out, it was Cassola that made the most compelling arguments in the final round, and so he emerged as the most convincing candidate.

What’s happening today?: The Nationalist Party is holding a discussion event in Swieqi at 6:30pm. The Labour Party is holding a community event in St Julian’s at 5:30pm, and a discussion at St Paul’s Bay at 6:30pm. Arnold Cassola is meeting BirdLife at 11am.

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This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The action was co-financed by the European Union in the frame of the European Parliament's grant programme in the field of communication. The European Parliament was not involved in its preparation and is, in no case, responsible for or bound by the information or opinions expressed in the context of this action. In accordance with applicable law, the authors, interviewed people, publishers or programme broadcasters are solely responsible. The European Parliament can also not be held liable for direct or indirect damage that may result from the implementation of the action.

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