EU Parliament elections : June 2009

An exercise carried out by AD-The Green Party in Malta has revealed that a large number of EU citizens are not registered to vote at the forthcoming EU Parliament elections next June.

The Times of Malta reported AD’s press release as follows on the 13 July 2008 :

AD calls on PM to give EP voting rights to foreign residents

Arnold Cassola, chairman of Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) has called on the Prime Minister to ensure that the thousands of resident non-Maltese EU citizens not registered to vote be given the right to do so in time for the European Parliamentary elections due to be held in 11 months.

“Unfortunately, it seems that the Maltese and Gozitan electoral offices are not being pro-active in enrolling non-Maltese EU residents in the electoral register for the European Parliament elections.

For example, comparative scrutiny of the respective October electoral registers reveal that in the locality of St Paul’s Bay, whereas 2.909 non-Maltese EU citizens are enrolled in the local council register, only 113 are likewise enrolled in the European Parliament one,” said Prof. Cassola.

Stephen Cachia, the party’s deputy chairman and spokesman for democratic institution and civil rights said this anomaly is compounded because most non-Maltese EU citizens have expired I.D. cards.

“Unfortunately, no date has been set for the renewal of I.D. cards and this is not expected to be started before sometime in 2009,” explained Mr Cachia.

“Given that the deadline for enrolment in the European Parliament electoral register to be eligible to vote in the European Parliament elections next year is late February/early March, the Electoral Commission should immediately send a letter to every single resident non-Maltese EU citizen already enrolled on the local council electoral registers and on its I.D. card holder data base, informing them of their EU voting rights and of how to enroll on the European Parliament electoral register,” concluded Mr Cachia.

 

More interesting that the above reporting are the comments posted on the timesofmalta online site. Consider the following :

Joe Borg
I suspect that’s why, then, AD got 23,000 in the European Parliament elections in 2004 and then just 3,000 in the last general elections. 20,000 of its voters in 2004 were foreigners. That is why AD needs to discuss very seriously its participation in general elections. Its energy would be better spent getting all these foreigners to vote AD in the European Parliament and local council elections.
Charles Camilleri
Why waste our time and money? If they are interested they should found out for themselves how to enroll on the E P E register. Anyhow i wonder how many of them are interested going by the low turn out in past polls.
Miriam Galea
People writing comments like Charles Camilleri below are making me so sorry for having voted PN.
“Wasting of money for informing people about their fundamental rights” Oh! Come on!
Gone are the days when Mintoff used to write in our passports : No foreigner should interfere in our politics.
Oisin Jones-Dillon
The fallacy of ‘foreigner’ does not figure in this equation. We
are all European Union citizens now.
L Galea
It does figure because you are still foreigners and will remain foreigners to us whatever you and others say.
Iain Sims
Albeit that I am a ‘foreigner’, I am a law abiding tax payer in Malta. My European Union rights, as a citizen of a member state, provide me with the ability to vote for representation in the European Parliament in the country of which I am resident.

To have that right denied through any form of clerical error would be of utmost concern.

A. Bartolo
Indeed MR Dillon you are right. I still wonder why The Times of Malta still uses these terms of ‘foreigners’ to EU citizens living in Malta.
Just a reminder: Malta joined the EU in 2004. Am I correct?
Sandro Camilleri
Foreigners should not have a right to a vote here in malta. Anyway they don’t care about our political system. See how many of them go and vote in their localities. They will surely not care to vote for the EU elections. They just come here to occupy the best parts of the island.
In view of the above I posted the following comment on the timesofmalta online site :
Having read the comments (above), I would dare say that Oliver Friggieri was right after all when in the 1990s he had said that : Qabel ma Malta tidhol fl-Ewropa jehtieg li tidhol fis-seklu ghoxrin (Prior to Malta acceding the EU it needs to embrace the spirit of the 20th century.)

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