PN stalwarts set up new civil society organisation: Repubblika

‘Unaffiliated’ civil society activists vow to uphold Republic’s values and fight threat to journalism and critics of power and speculators ‘obsessed with money’

Marion Pace Asciak is the interim chairperson of Repubblika
Marion Pace Asciak is the interim chairperson of Repubblika

Labour’s much-feted constitutional achievement of 1974 is the name of a new civil society organisation that is being fronted by veteran PN stalwarts who have been active in recent civil manifestations calling for justice for murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Repubblika’s leaders said they wanted to contribute to the national discussion on Malta’s future and call out breaches of constitutional limits that sabotage “the aspirations of a free and open society”.

The founding members of Repubblika are Robert Aquilina – the brother of Nationalist MP Karol Aquilina; former Democratic Party official Karl Camilleri; Occupy Justice activists Simon Sansone, Sammi Davis and Pia Zammit; the former PN candidate and ministerial aide Manuel Delia; NGO worker Alexander Hili; veteran PN stalwarts Marion Pace Asciak, and Joe Pace Asciak.

Marion Pace Asciak, former PN administrative council member and former president of the PN’s women’s section, is the interim chairperson of Repubblika.

“Repubblika is not affiliated with any political party and though it appreciates the public service of all politicians of goodwill, it does not consider that civil society should be the battleground for politicians, elected officials, or candidates,” the group said in a statement.

“The mission of Repubblika is not limited to one administration, nor will it realise its pinnacle at any election. This is not a programmatic mission or one that seeks to elect one party over another. Repubblika strives for the values and aspirations that should be unanimously cherished and respected by all who govern – such is our ambition.”

The activists said Repubblika will fight against “the siege on society by those with corrupt interests; the tendency of institutions to turn a blind eye to venality, protecting the corrupt and enabling abuse of power; [and] the use of the law as a weapon of the incumbents to castigate those who confront them, while lackeys are permitted to perpetuate corruption.”

The NGO also said it would fight against partisan appointments, the threat toward investigative journalism and critics of those in power, the sale of Maltese citizenship, and the degeneration “caused by speculators obsessed with money at the expense of our natural and cultural resources.”

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