The Malta Independent 17 October 2019, Thursday

Alfred Sant abstains on EP foreign electoral interference resolution

Thursday, 10 October 2019, 16:13 Last update: about 6 days ago

Labour MEP Alfred Sant abstained on a motion for a European Parliament resolution concerning foreign electoral interference and disinformation in national and European democratic processes.

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In a written explanation of vote, the former Prime Minister stated that he could not support a resolution that, although well intentioned, did not offer clear answers to legitimate questions and therefore risked becoming another fruitless exercise.

Sant expressed agreement on the fact that foreign interference in the electoral affairs of a country was a very serious issue and had to be monitored and controlled.

Sant stated that foreign interference has long been practised under different forms, from the setting up of policy institutes in the smaller countries by the parties of large European states – to campaigns waged in foreign media against individual countries – to the escalation that has happened in recent years towards the fraudulent manipulation of soft media on a global scale.

“So, this Parliament’s resolutions over the years, on the internal affairs of outside countries could be considered an intervention in their electoral politics. Likewise, arguably, the creation of transnational lists for elections to this Parliament. What makes foreign interventions of any kind acceptable? legitimate? legal?” asked Sant.

Sant stressed that he came from a country which has long been subject to such interventions, from right and left. Dr Sant added that we would be indulging in another fruitless exercise where we to proclaim how pure we are, and how defiled others can be – unless we have clear replies to these questions.

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