The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
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TMID Editorial: The power of one

Thursday, 3 March 2022, 07:20 Last update: about 10 months ago

Much of the focus of the media is on the two main political parties.

As the campaign leading to the 26 March intensifies, the parties are holding daily activities ranging from press conferences to walkabouts, from rallies to discussions, and it is expected that the momentum will increase in the coming weeks.

Apart from this, the parties are also working behind the scenes, with their volunteers making arrangements for election day and the counting hall, while top officials and candidates continue to meet with individuals privately in a bid to attract their vote.

But it is not only the Labour Party and the Nationalist Party which are contesting the election. There are a number of smaller parties who are making their own, limited campaign to try to break the duopoly.

And then there is Arnold Cassola, a former leader of Alternattiva Demokratika who is now putting his name forward as an independent candidate after breaking ranks over the party’s stand on abortion.

“I am totally against abortion unless the mother’s life is in jeopardy. Therefore it would be better for AD to be free to take decisions it deems fit without the hindrance of my minority stand,” he had said at the time.

Cassola has been active in politics for decades, and yet he has lost none of his enthusiasm and thirst for justice. He is always on the forefront when some NGO is making a point, and is also active on the social media with his thoughts, in particular on matters pertaining to good governance and the environment.

He deserves a special mention for what he has managed to achieve, single-handedly, in the past legislature.

The setting up of the office of the Standards Commissioner was a blessing for him. He has filed complaints on a regular basis, and the investigations he requested led to the downfall of two Cabinet members – Rosianne Cutajar and Justyne Caruana, both of whom were found to be in breach of ethical standards which resulted in their resignation, respectively from parliamentary secretary and minister.

In the first week of the election campaign, a letter he passed on to the OPM about Transport Malta led to the arraignment of Enforcement Director Clint Axisa, who now stands charged with sexually harassing employees.

It must be remembered that in the first election for Malta’s representatives to the European Parliament, in 2004, Cassola was close to making it. At the time, Malta had five seats; if we had six, Cassola would have been there with Joseph Muscat and Simon Busuttil.

He faces a difficult battle to be elected from either the 10th or 11th districts he is contesting, but nonetheless he keeps pushing hard, with his small team, and one cannot but admire his resilience and determination.

There have been times when it appeared to us that he was picking on situations just to hopefully see his name in the media, but more often than not his observations are spot on.

We are in no doubt that, even if he does not sit in the House of Representatives in the next legislature, Cassola will continue his crusade for the truth and to eliminate all that is wrong in Maltese politics.

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