ADPD calls for sensible party financing legislation to strengthen the country’s democracy

The Green party says the lack of effective control over party financing trusts a dark shadow over Malta's political system

From left to right: Ralph Cassar, Sandra Gauci, Carmel Cacopardo and Mario Mallia (Photo: ADPD)
From left to right: Ralph Cassar, Sandra Gauci, Carmel Cacopardo and Mario Mallia (Photo: ADPD)

ADPD - The Green Party said there was an urgent need for the introduction of sensible party financing legislation that would strengthen the country’s democratic infrastructure.

"The lack of effective control over the party’s financing also trusts a dark shadow over our country’s political system. The fact that legislation that had been put in place is regulated by the Electoral Commission – which in the main is composed by PLPN representatives – makes one doubt as to whether it is being enforced as it should be," Cacopardo said.

Moreover, the political parties’ commercial entities’ exclusion from such legislation gives rise to abuse where funds that are meant for such companies end up in the parties’ coffers through false invoicing and the lack of submission of audited accounts over many years.

Cacopardo said that the large amounts of arrears that the PN and the PL owe in water and electricity bills as well as VAT, was worrisome. He added that the million of Euros owed by the big parties were a threat to democracy, because they compromised the parties and made them subject to the control of commercial interests

"While individuals are usually treated with a strong hand it seems that these parties can continue their operations as if nothing happened. We need sensible party financing legislation to assist our country’s democratic process,” Cacopardo said.

Deputy Chairperson Sandra Gauci insisted that the party would remain the voice of those who the traditional parties avoided or ignored. She said that most ADPD voters were well aware that its policies were substantially different from that proposed by the larger parties.

“Their vote for ADPD is essentially one of trust in a political vision that looks to safeguard future generations by ensuring that the actions we take today allow down to be able to take their own,” Gauci said.

She said ADPD would remain committed towards the environment coupled with social justice and the right to a decent living for all.

"The rule of law should also reign supreme – in spite of all the empty promises not much has been done in this regard," Gauci concluded.

Carmel Cacopardo emphasised that every vote should count, saying that was why the party had gone to the Constitutional Court to seek remedy, for what he called injustices committed against it through the electoral system.

"This was especially the case in the last election where to compound matters, an additional 12 parliamentary seats intended to bring about gender balance, resulted in further discrimination against ADPD’s female candidates," Cacopardo said.

He said that two ADPD candidates, Sandra Gauci and Melissa Bagley, obtained more votes than a PL candidate who has been granted a seat thanks to this mechanism. However, ADPD candidates were excluded because they had not contested with either of the traditional parties who were in cahoots to ensure that this mechanism only applied for them.

“Our electoral system needs a thorough reform to address these two issues - that of having true proportional representation for all and offer a gender balance remedy,” Cacopardo said.

He recounted how in its proposals for the electoral system reform, ADPD had indicated how this could be done without the need to increase the size of the parliament.

Cacopardo announced that this would be his last term in office as party Chairperson and that it would be a year of transition towards a new leadership.

The general meeting also approved its executive committee as follows:

  • Carmel Cacopardo – Chairperson
  • Sandra Gauci – Deputy Chairperson
  • Mario Mallia – Deputy Chairperson
  • Ralph Cassar – Secretary General
  • Melissa Bagley – Deputy Secretary General
  • Mark Zerafa – Deputy Secretary General 
  • Mina Tolu – International Secretary 
  • Brian Decelis – Public Relations Officer 
  • Luke Caruana – Treasurer 
  • Duncan Bonnici, Donal Kelly, Marcus Lauri, Matthew Mizzi – Members