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First Step Taken In Court Case To Declare Party TV Stations Unconstitutional

A historic court case will be launched this month to determine the future of TV stations owned by Malta’s main political parties, in a crowdfunded bid to reduce misinformation, partisan divisions and corruption.

Lovin Malta has already given official notice to the government that it will be asking the court to decide whether a law that permits propaganda TV stations One and Net should be declared unconstitutional. This 10-day notice is a standard requirement for such constitutional cases.

The court case, which will be formally filed later this month, argues that a law approved by Parliament in 1991 to permit the stations to open went completely contrary to the demands of the Constitution.

A proviso in Article 13 of the Broadcasting Act enables party stations to exist on the premise that they balance each other out, even though Malta’s Constitution, the highest law in the land, clearly states that all broadcast media is as much as possible impartial. One and Net are the exact opposite of what the Constitution demands, Lovin Malta argues.

Hundreds of people donated more than €7,200 last year to help Lovin Malta mount a constitutional challenge to the existence of Malta’s controversial political party TV stations, after an episode of Kaxxaturi.

Lovin Malta is urging the political parties to restart discussions on mutual disarmament of their TV stations which are both bankrupt and have not filed their audited accounts in more than 10 years. Lovin Malta argues that these financial difficulties also render the political parties highly vulnerable to corruption since they are dependent on big business donations.

Malta’s broadcasting situation is unique in Europe. No other country has party owned TV stations and most countries have laws banning political parties from owning their own stations.

What do you think of party-owned TV stations? Let us know by filling our questionnaire.

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