Ignored but not yet over, AD insists
Alternattiva Demokratika, the Green Party is evaluating all legal avenues to contest what it claims is a discriminatory electoral system after the judicial protest it filed 10 days ago was ignored by the major parties, according to leader Michael Briguglio.
"The two major parties have shown they are not interested in having a truly representative democracy but the story will not end here," Mr Briguglio said.
The judicial protest was filed against the Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Attorney General, claiming the electoral law gave no chance to small parties to elect a candidate and was, therefore, discriminatory.
The protest remained unanswered when the statutory 10-day period in which a reply could be submitted expired yesterday.
AD said the Nationalist Party was awarded extra parliamentary seats in the last general election to secure its slim majority while no seats were awarded to the Green Party, which polled 3,800 votes, more than double the difference in votes between the major parties.
"It is premature to say when we will take our next step but there are various avenues, such as the Constitutional Court and EU institutions," Mr Briguglio said, insisting AD did not want a situation where the major parties made last-minute piecemeal changes to the electoral system.
He criticised the stand taken by both parties reserving harsher words for the Labour Party, which completely brushed off the issue, insisting it was not a priority.
"(Prime Minister) Lawrence Gonzi said our argument made no sense but the almost 4,000 voters who chose AD were discriminated against because they were denied representation while the PN's majority of 1,500 was rewarded by additional seats," Mr Briguglio said.
He described Labour's attitude as a "throwback to the 1980s because it only viewed the electoral system as a technical exercise and not as a democratic tool".
Labour had said electoral reform was not a priority as much as the validation of ID cards to make sure that only people eligible to vote did so at election time.
Mr Briguglio hit out at what he described as Labour "infantile" attitude when it pulled out of the parliamentary select committee discussing important issues, such as electoral reform and political party financing.
Mr Briguglio reiterated AD's stand in favour of a mixed electoral system like Germany's where candidates could get elected either from districts, as was the case today, or made it to Parliament if their party secured a national threshold of 2.5 per cent.
"Electoral reform is a top priority for the Green party's executive and we will not let the issue fade away," Mr Briguglio insisted.