The Malta Independent 20 August 2019, Tuesday

Your vote is the most powerful tool in democracy – President George Vella

Wednesday, 24 April 2019, 14:13 Last update: about 5 months ago

“Your vote is the most powerful tool in democracy”, President George Vella said as he campaigned for more people to fulfil their right to vote in the upcoming elections.

Speaking at an event organised by the European Parliament Office in Malta, Agenzija Zghazagh, The Malta Basketball Association, The Malta Paralympic Committee, and the Malta Wheelchair Basketball Association; the President said that the upcoming elections were the opportunity for youths to pass on their message as to how they want to see the EU be made up.

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He encouraged youths to fulfil their right to vote, both as Maltese citizens and as EU citizens, and to listen to views from across the whole political spectrum before then forming their own educated and informed opinion..

The event was titled This Time I’m Voting For Sport and formed part of the This Time I’m Voting campaign.  The event took the shape of a wheelchair basketball tournament, with teams vying for the winning spot, with medals eventually being handed out to the winners by President Vella himself.

The President said that he was pleased to see the determination to pass on the message of sport and of active citizenship in such an event.  He drew some comparisons between sports and the elections, saying that in both cases there is a sense of competition – something which, if well balanced, is healthy as it pushes each side forward.  Both sports and politics also give people new opportunities and bring them closer to new people and connections, Vella said.

Sarah Spiteri from Agenzija Zghazagh also spoke of the importance to vote, saying that the belief that their single vote does not count or cannot make a change is mistaken, as each person has equal power to the next person and hence an informed decision can make a difference.

Several exponents from the sports sector spoke, with Paul Sultana, the President of the Malta Wheelchair Basketball Association, thanking the organisers for their promotion of this sense of inclusion through sport, and Ivan Riolo from the University of Malta’s Institute for Physical Education and Sport also praising the initiative and calling for local basketball clubs to open their own wheelchair basketball teams so to improve the participation of disabled people in sport.

 

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