PN takes Elec­toral Com­mis­sion case be­fore the Con­sti­tu­tional Court cit­ing breach of rights

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The Na­tion­al­ist Party has re­ferred its com­plaint about the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­leged breaches in the party fi­nanc­ing law by the same party and Sil­vio De­bono’s db Group to the courts in or­der to de­ter­mine whether there has been a breach of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

In a press re­lease, the PN said that it has taken such ac­tion af­ter “clear” dec­la­ra­tions made by le­gal ex­perts and mem­bers of the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion it­self.

The PN said it has also taken such ac­tion in the light of a re­cent de­ci­sion taken by the Con­sti­tu­tional Court, hav­ing a di­rect ef­fect on the Party Fi­nanc­ing law, where it made clear that only a court of law can pass judg­ment of the im­par­tial­ity of such a de­ci­sion.

The Party Fi­nanc­ing law refers to a set of leg­is­la­tion reg­u­lat­ing po­lit­i­cal par­ties and do­na­tions, it dic­tates, for ex­am­ple, that no sin­gle per­son or en­tity can do­nate more than €25,000 in a given fi­nan­cial year.

“For the PN, it is not ac­cept­able that the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion is both the in­ves­ti­ga­tor and the judge for the same case, more so due to the ma­jor­ity of mem­bers on the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion be­ing nom­i­nated by Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat, and there­fore votes in the in­ter­est of Dr Mus­cat. This means that the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion process is com­pro­mised be­cause the con­clu­sion is clear be­fore it be­gan.

“The PN had al­ready warned, dur­ing the par­lia­men­tary de­bate on the party fi­nanc­ing law, that the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion can never be the judge of cases about this law be­cause it is not an im­par­tial en­tity, in ac­cor­dance with law.

“De­spite this, govern­ment rode roughshod over the con­cerns and im­ple­mented the law with the cur­rent short­com­ings”.

It has called for any in­ves­ti­ga­tion to be pro­fes­sional and im­par­tial, and con­cluded by say­ing that it has re­quested the Courts to de­ter­mine whether the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tion is in breach of fun­da­men­tal hu­man rights due to a lack of im­par­tial­ity.

Busut­til fails to re­turn db Group money, Bon­nici al­leges

In re­ac­tion, the Labour Party said that the PN should not at­tack the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion.

“Those who have noth­ing to hide are not scared of judge­ment,” Jus­tice Min­is­ter Owen Bon­nici said in a press con­fer­ence.

“Si­mon Busut­til has also said that he would re­turn the money do­nated by db Group but he did not,” Dr Bon­nici added.

Ac­com­pa­ny­ing Dr Bon­nici, Tourism Min­is­ter Ed­ward Zammit Lewis said that the db Group saga starts and ends with Si­mon Busut­til. “The case against the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion is the PN’s at­tempt to buy time,” he con­cluded.

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