One size fits all
Statement issued by Alternattiv Demokratika
Alternattiva Demokratika notes that the proposed legislation on the financing of political parties is a “one size fits all” exercise. This was stated by Carmel Cacopardo AD Deputy Chairman in the party’s first reaction to the Bill published on Friday last.
Cacopardo added that the Bill still proposes the Electoral Commission as the administrator of the law. This is unacceptable because the Electoral Commission is directed exclusively by the two Parliamentary parties to the exclusion of the rest of civil society. AD disagrees with this proposal and is of the opinion that when this Bill is approved it should be operated by the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life as per legislative proposal approved by a Parliamentary Select Committee and currently pending for the consideration of the House of Representatives. According to the pending proposal this Commissioner for Standards in Public Life should be supported by not less than two thirds of Members of Parliament to be elected. This would be a substantial improvement on that proposed by the Bill on the Financing of Political Parties.
Carmel Cacopardo added that notwithstanding the above AD has noted the amendment proposed (through the Bill’s clause number 47) to the definition of the term “political party” in article 2 of the General Elections Act. As a result of this proposed amendment the right of access to information held by the Electoral Commission to all registered political parties will for the first time be non-discriminatory. Whilst this will be a substantial improvement, it is not good enough.
The Bill, added Carmel Cacopardo, places heavy financial and administrative burdens on Alternattiva Demokratika exclusively as a result of the responsibilities resulting from the workings of the proposed legislation. It would be required to employ a suitably qualified person for AD to be in line with the provisions of this Bill. AD does not have the resources to shoulder these responsibilities. This is an impact which was anticipated and in its respect during the public consultation carried out on the White Paper AD made a specific proposal. Notwithstanding that the Minister for Justice declared that he would consider AD’s proposal it now results that this has been ignored.
Carmel Cacopardo concluded by stating that during the coming days AD’s Executive Committee will be meeting in order to consider the matter prior to seeking a meeting with the Minister of Justice on the changes which are essential to the proposed legislation.