Repubblika files judicial protest against NGO commissioner

The commissioner asked the NGO to 'regulate itself' and act in terms of the law, citing funding issues and political partisanship

Pictured above: Repubblika President Robert Aquilina
Pictured above: Repubblika President Robert Aquilina

Civil society NGO Repubblika has filed a judicial protest in court against the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations after being told that they are in breach of the law.

The commissioner’s office had highlighted funding issues and political partisanship in Repubblika’s organisations, arguing that they are functioning as a private interest foundation and not a voluntary organisation.

In the judicial protect, Repubblika call this behaviour “illegal and anti-constitutional”, while formally asking that the commissioner withdraw its threat to de-list the NGO and acknowledge that the assertions are unfounded.

"Such a letter is not acceptable in a democratic society. It is an insult that the government office that is supposed to be strengthened by civil society tells us to 'lower the volume' so that we can survive," a Repubblika statement reads.

The NGO yesterday held a press conference reiterating their demands, themselves threatening to mobilise public opinion if the commissioner fails to withdraw its warning.

Repubblika President Robert Aquilina had pointed out that the Commissioner approved the statute and personally confirmed in meetings throughout previous months that the NGO is fully compliant with the law, signalling a recent change of heart from the office.