Greens call for an investigation into 'unacceptable' practice of voter preference data storage

ADPD said that the voter data was allegedly used to select job applicants in the public sector, based on their political beliefs

ADPD leader Sandra Gauci and Deputy Secretary General Melissa Bagley (Photo: ADPD)
ADPD leader Sandra Gauci and Deputy Secretary General Melissa Bagley (Photo: ADPD)

ADPD – The Green Party said it is unacceptable for political parties to store voter preference data and demanded an investigation into this practice by the Information and Data Protection Commissioner.

During a press conference in front of the Labour Party headquarters in Ħamrun, party leader Sandra Gauci said that this ongoing practice should cease and that the political parties should no longer be allowed to store such personal voter data.

This was in the case involving the online leak of a database containing the personal information of nearly every individual Maltese voter, which was owned by a company hired by the Labour Party.

“It is unacceptable for political parties to store information about voter preferences,” Gauci said. “It is reprehensible that this information is also used by the party in Government to carry out political discrimination.”

Gauci said that the implications of this scandal extend far beyond public service recruitment.

“The storage and misuse of personal data is a serious concern that undermines the privacy and security of individuals across the country. The fact that this data was allegedly used to discriminate against individuals based on their political beliefs is a clear violation of their rights to freedom of expression and association.”

The ADPD leader said that in order to address these issues, an independent investigation into the data leak and discriminatory practices that have been uncovered must be launched.

She also called for the implementation of robust measures to prevent future breaches of privacy and to ensure that public service recruitment processes are fair, transparent, and free from political bias.

“Furthermore, we must hold those responsible for this scandal accountable for their actions as well. This includes not only those who directly participated in discriminatory practices but also those who enabled them,” Gauci said.

She stated that the party is demanding the Information and Data Protection Commissioner to immediately investigate this practice and take the necessary measures so that this storage of information by political parties no longer takes place.

“Amendments to the law are also needed so that political parties no longer store personal data on voters,” Gauci said.

She emphasised that the government must take decisive action quickly to restore public confidence in our political institutions and to demonstrate the commitment to uphold the principles of justice, equality, and democracy.

“In any democratic society, justice is a fundamental pillar that ensures equality and trust. In relation to public service recruitment, the principles of justice and transparency must be respected to foster a system built on meritocracy and equal opportunities. It is crucial that justice is not only done but appears to be served well, because only in this way can we assure the public that the country's commitment to justice and transparency is a genuine one.”

The ADPD leader said that the government's betrayal of justice and democracy through the selection of job applicants in the public sector who only vote for Labour, is a serious concern that calls for immediate action.

“We must work together to hold those responsible accountable for their actions and to restore public trust in our political institutions. Only then can we move forward as a truly fair, just, and democratic society,” Gauci concluded.

ADPD Deputy Secretary General Melissa Bagley said that the scandal that was revealed through the data leak is a threat to the very foundations of our democratic society.

“The actions of the government in the selection of applicants for work in the public sector who vote only Labour, based on their political beliefs, is a serious violation of every principle of justice, equality and democracy,” Bagley stated.

She said that the government has a responsibility to ensure that our public services are staffed by individuals who are qualified and competent, regardless of their political affiliations.

“By engaging in discriminatory practices, the government undermines the integrity of our public service recruitment processes. It is of great concern that the government remained silent and failed to take appropriate action in response to this scandal.”

Bagley said that instead of taking responsibility for the actions that were carried out, the government tried to reduce the severity of the situation and deflect the blame onto others. This lack of transparency and accountability only serves to further erode public trust in our institutions, Bagley insisted.