Can newcomer Volt charge Maltese politics?

 Volt Malta president Arnas Lasys says Volt hopes to give the Maltese electorate a taste of progressive politics which 'further human rights and democratisation'

Volt Malta president Arnas Lasys: “It’s a long-term project...”
Volt Malta president Arnas Lasys: “It’s a long-term project...”

It’s always a bleak outlook for third parties looking in from the outside of Malta’s duopoly. But pan-European newcomer Volt hopes to give the Maltese electorate a taste of progressive politics which “further human rights and democratisation,” says Volt Malta president Arnas Lasys.

“Our policies will strive to bring a positive change in Malta on a number of social issues, like its approach to the economy, digitisation and even the environment,” Lasys, 24, said. He has lived in Malta since the age of four in Mġarr.

His national affiliate for Volt Europa this week obtained formal enrollment with the Electoral Commission, making its the 16th national formation for Volt. Lasys is however still seeking candidates for the election.

But given the history of third-party politics in Malta since the late 1980s, he is already tempering hopes of representation. “It’s a long-term project. Our objective is not to win seats, but to push for positive change... It’s worth the try. Even by participating, and shifting the national debate on a number of issues towards what we stand for, is already a victory.”

Although still on the lookout for candidates, Lasys says Volt is aiming to place a candidate on each electoral district, apart from running on local and European elections. “We will not shy away from the challenge. Volt Europa has participated in local and general elections in other European elections, and we did manage to elect candidates,” he said. “We have even managed to enter into coalition governments in some regions.”

Unlike parties on the ecological left like ADPD, or Malta’s tiny clutch of far-right groups, Lasys says Volt does not subscribe to a certain ideology. “We want to develop our polices on what stakeholders tell us, to push for what is best for the country and her people.”

The party claims to be Malta’s first pro-choice party, that it will base policies on “best-practice... not ideology and populism”, and that it is in favour of further European democratisation reform.

He claims Volt has received mixed reactions on its announcement that it will enter Maltese politics. “People told us they finally have a party they would vote for, and that we are a breath of fresh air in the country’s political scene. There was also negative feedback from the more conservative voices, but that was expected.”