[WATCH] Nationalist Party launches political training programme for adolescents

PN secretary General Clyde Puli said that today’s 14-year-olds would be voting in the next general election and as such needed to contribute to the party’s policy

Clyde Puli said that the programme will allow young voters to have a greater say in the PN's policy direction
Clyde Puli said that the programme will allow young voters to have a greater say in the PN's policy direction

The Nationalist Party has launched a training programme aimed at youths who wish to enter the world of politics. The programme will be coordinated by former MP Charlo Bonnici.

The programme, Future Leaders, will train those enrolled in political thinking, media communication and other skills necessary for a career in politics.

Addressing a press conference launching the programme, PN secretary general Clyde Puli said the new initiative was part of the party’s ongoing process of renewal, which he said had even included needed changes to the party’s statute.

One such change, he said, included party membership being opened up to 14 to 16-year-olds.

“We must remember that those who are 14 today will be voting in the next general election and they should have their say in the PN’s policy direction,” Puli said.

He stressed that active participation in politics would empower Malta’s youth and would also benefit society at large through increase participation in the country’s political discussion.

Complementing the initiative, Puli said that a new branch within the party had been established that was open to those aged between 14 and 18. The branch, Team Start, would be represented in the party’s executive committee and its administrative and general councils.

“It will be like all the other branches of the party,” Puli said, adding that some 15% of the PN’s policy development team would consist of people under the age of 30.

Puli said that given that youths were being given a more central role in policy, it was also necessary to ensure they had the necessary political training to give a meaningful contribution.

Training, he said, would be provided in collaboration with PN think tank AZAD as well as the Konrad Adenauer Foundation – a German political party foundation associated with the centrist Christian Democratic Union.

Roderick Agius from AZAD gave an overview of the programme and explained that a launch weekend would be organised in November that will include sessions on entering politics, leadership and communication skills and other forms of training that would be useful to a career in politics.

The weekend would be followed by monthly workshops during which those enrolled will receive training from professionals in the field as well as experienced politicians.

Charlo Bonnici said that running in parallel with the workshops, participants will also shadow experienced PN politicians to learn how parliament, local councils, and the various branches of Malta’s political system work.

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