The donations received by Malta’s political parties took a massive dip the year after the 2017 general election, generating over €5 million less in 2018.
Documents published by the Electoral Commission revealed how the Nationalist Party managed to top the donations list for the third year running.
In 2018, the PN raised €1.57 million to the Labour Party’s €1.37 million.
The amounts are significantly less than what was generated in 2017, a general election year when the PN collected just over €3.3 million to the PL’s €1.9 million.
This, however, has routinely failed to translate into a robust electoral performance with the party losing by record landslide after record landslide.
While the figures reveal the millions generated by Malta’s two main political parties, it exposes the enormous disparity between them and third parties, who account for less than 0.5% of the total.
Alternattiva Demokratika, who once held the claim for the country’s third-largest party, received the least, generating a measly €422. Meanwhile, newcomers Partit Demoktrattika received a cool €11,000, with Moviment Pattrijoti Maltin getting €1,888.
It appears that the PN can command such large donations off the back of their highly successful telethons, generating just over €755,000 to the PL’s €131,000. In contrast, when it came to contributions under 500, the PL (650,000) almost tripled what was received by the PN (€235,000).
When it came to donors between the €500 and €7,000 range, which must be registered by the parties but is not made public, the two parties made more or less the same figures hovering between €570,000 and €550,000.
However, any donation over €7,000 must be made public. In 2018, the PL received €25,000 from Sensiela Kotba Socjalisti, the PL’s publication of political literature, and €10,000 from the Ħamrun Labour Party Club.
Meanwhile, the PN managed to get a €10,100 donation from Sam Abela, the son of former PN MP Tony Abela.
The funds collected probably come as a surprise to many with the PL’s well-organised and effective campaigns giving off the impression of a wealth of resources that dwarf their PN counterparts.
The PN, it should be noted, remains crippled by debt brought about by years of poor financial management, with the rumoured bill believed to total up to €20 million.