New AD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo defends not joining coalition in last election
Rebecca Iversen The new Alternattiva Demokratika Chairman Carmel Cacopardo, who was elected yesterday, defended the party’s decision to not align itself with the Forza Nazzjonali coalition set up in the last election, which had been comprised of the Nationalist Party and Partit Demokratiku.
AD’s choice, Cacopardo told the party’s extraordinary general meeting yesterday, had been taken to maintain and to hold on to AD’s identity of clean politics.
Cacopardo explained that AD could not have joined the coalition to fight for clean politics when there are cases in the PN which he deemed to be anything but: “How can you be credible when you form an alliance in favour of good governance with these people?” he asked.
“It would not have been acceptable to pretend that nothing was happening when the PN’s deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami was for some time a director of CaptialOne, which had been investigated for laundering money suspected to have come from drugs.
“It was also unacceptable that they pretended nothing happened when the Honourable Claudio Grech stated he couldn’t remember if he had ever met George Farrugia who was accused in the oil procurement scandal. It also wasn’t acceptable when the other deputy leader, Mario de Marco, negotiated with the government for his clients when his work in Parliament is to scrutinise what the government is doing with those same clients.”
The new Chairman said that although some saw this as a missed opportunity, and in fact AD’s votes decreased by 50 per cent in the last election, he blamed lack of organisation within the party for the defeat.
He acknowledged it was not the first time the party had struggled because of a lack of organisation, such as back in 2003, and suggested that the party focuses its energy on active politics by being present in all localities throughout Malta and Gozo.
Cacopardo spoke about the various proposals that AD has been campaigning for, which have either now passed into law, are being discussed and due to become law: divorce, LGBTIQ rights and now the discussion of 16-year-olds being given the right to vote in national elections.
“Last week [Prime Minister Joseph] Muscat announced another initiative from our electoral manifesto, this time most recently, 2017: that public consultation begins on the elimination of petrol and diesel cars from our roads. This is a good step as we have always insisted that when carried out it will improve air quality for everyone and will also reduce the incidence of respiratory diseases.”
Cacopardo also addressed the issue of permits being given for petrol stations all over the pace, the need for rent regulations, which he had spoken about the other week.
He also spoke about the youth parliament, which has asked for a discussion on abortion and observed that the reality is that many Maltese are going abroad for abortions, sometimes in unsafe conditions. It is the country’s right to have the opportunity to discuss the issue, he said, adding: “This silence must stop immediately.”