Voters staying at home in the forthcoming European and council elections will be endorsing Malta’s corrupt government and abstaining in the fight of good against evil, Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia said on Sunday.

“Whoever does not come out to vote is rewarding Labour, whoever does not join us in the fight against corruption is corrupt,” Dr Delia said in a political activity at the party headquarters in Pieta.

The event was held prior to the start of a fund raising marathon on the party’s television station.

His appeal was made amid indications and concerns that the PN is set to suffer an even bigger landslide in the May 25 election than in the 2017 general election, when the gap was 36,000 votes.

Recent opinion polls suggest that the PN’s major hurdle will be to mobilise its own faithful to come out to support the party, as  a significant chunk are yet to warm up to Dr Delia amid serious allegations about him, which he has persistently denied. 

Government taking over institutions

In his address the PN leader lashed out at the government for “taking over” major institutions such as the police force, the Malta Financial Services Authority, the anti-money laundering agency (FIAU), the army and even the judiciary.

In this respect he echoed the concerns raised by former European Court of Human Rights Judge Giovanni Bonello in The Malta Independent on Sunday.

Dr Bonello noted that in 16 out of the last 17 appointments, the magistrate or judge had clear political connections.

While noting that in just six years, Labour had ruined all of Malta’s checks and balances, he warned that the country’s democratic system had “collapsed”.

Gender equality regression

The PN leader also criticised government’s track record with regards to women, saying that a host of indicators revealed that since 2013 the country had gone backwards.

Dr Delia cited the increasing gender pay gap, with Malta falling 19 places worldwide down to 106 from 149 countries, a relative drop in healthy life expectance, from 78th down to 120th place, and a decline in women in decision-making positions in State corporations from 30 to 15 per cent.

“All of this happened under the watch of a government which portrayed itself as the most feminist in history,” the PN leader remarked.

“However, the situation on the ground is not what government’s marketing strategy is depicting”, he added.

Egrant case

Rounding off his address, Dr Delia referred to the ongoing court case instituted by the party in order for the government to publish the full Egrant inquiry report.  He noted that on Monday he was due to appear in court for the final submissions in the case.

“It is shameful that in the 21st century an Attorney General of a democracy EU member state is defending the Prime Minister rather than country constitution, freedom of expression and political balance,” he said.

Pitching his address to disgruntled PN votes he urged them to re-join the party, which he said was getting stronger and become more united.

“Our doors are wide open to those who left the party and even those who never militated within it,” he said.

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