The Malta Independent 18 November 2017, Saturday

Email to party lifetime member shows denial of right to vote

Julian Bonnici Thursday, 14 September 2017, 09:06 Last update: about 3 months ago

While the Nationalist Party’s Electoral Commission has said that an article published by this newspaper yesterday claiming that the commission had told party members that it has the absolute right to choose who should vote in the upcoming leadership election is “fallacious”, an email provided to The Malta Independent shows a PN electoral commission official clearly stating that the commission has the power to decide on a person’s eligibility to vote, and that its decision is final.

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The email also confirms that the lifetime members who were not only informed that they were not eligible to vote, but were also no longer actual members, were never offered any form of explanation for their change in status within the party.

However, emails sent by an official from the Electoral Commission to lifetime members who discovered that they were missing from the voting registry read as follows:

“According to clause 7 of the Regulations for the election of the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Nationalist Party approved by the General Council of the Nationalist Party on 28 June 2017, the Electoral Commission, appointed for the same elections, has the power to ‘receive, listen’ and decide about the eligibility of persons to vote in the General Council and in the General Convention. The decision of the Commission is final.

“Your eligibility to vote in the General Convention for the election of the Party Leader went before the Electoral Commission, who after deliberation, decided that you are not eligible to vote in the election.”

The Electoral Commission, while continuously denying the claims and insisting that all documents have already been printed, has repeatedly failed to a provide an explanation as to why a number of individuals were removed as lifetime paid-up members of the party.

Sources affected by the situation have told the newsroom that they were up in arms and angry at the way they have been treated by the Nationalist Party throughout the ordeal.

“We were involved with the party who fought for freedom of expression and the right to democracy in the 1980s; now the party has become hijacked by anti-democratic people,” one person said.

The newsroom has contacted the PN throughout, and also contacted MP Jean-Pierre Debono, who is the Assistant Secretary General of the PN, and MP Karol Aquilina, the President of the Administrative Council on the issue.

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