Has the two-party system in Malta failed us? That’s what PD MEP candidate Anthony Buttigieg and AD deputy chairperson Mario Mallia seem to think, appearing as guests on TVM discussion programme Xtra.
And now the two parties may be joining forces.
“In recent Sunday speeches, Joseph Muscat has been talking about the need for a constitutional reform. We have been calling for it, for the last 20 years.”
The Green Party was always the voice of reason, campaigning for divorce and gay marriage before any of the two mainstream parties began taking the issues seriously, and also pioneering the causes of environmentalists and those who believe in clean, transparent governance.
But over the years, the influence of AD has waned.
Enter Partit Demokratiku, the political party that was established by the power-couple Marlene and Godfrey Farrugia in the lead-up to the 2017 national elections. Three years ago, the new Orange Party emerged on the basis of good governance, anti-corruption and a new style of politics.
But the party that Godfrey Farrugia left the Labour Party to form is changing the way politics is done in Malta by taking an even bigger leap. In the Xtra interview, they mentioned that they have had talks to co-opt with one another. But it’s still not confirmed whether PD will co-opt AD or vice versa or if they’ll form a common platform.
PD had entered into a historic coalition with PN in the 2017 election, a move that saw both Farrugia’s elected. But relations between PN and PD have soured ever since PN elected Adrian Delia as leader. AD had refused to join the 2017 coalition.
“We find it difficult to compete with parties which have full-blown control over the traditional media like television and radio”
AD and the PD say that they are considering a collaboration in order to challenge the duopolity of the major parties, and that there were already discussions over a possible alliance.
“The two biggest parties have control over media like television and radio,” the AD deputy chairperson pointed out, explaining that last elections his party was only given 30 minutes of air time. So by joining forces, these parties will be increasing their power and by giving disgruntled and disillusioned voters a third option to fall back on.
As they field candidates for the European Parliament election in May, it is likely that the agendas for their campaigns could link up. When asked by Xtra host Saviour Balzan, Mallia said that the two main issues for the AD were corruption and transport. Buttigieg said the PD’s agenda for the MEP elections will be looking to the surveys in an effort to recognise what issues the people felt were of utmost priority.
Kemm jistgħu ikunu ta’ suċċess il-partiti ż-żgħar? Nitkellmu ma’ @AnthButtigiegPD mill-@Demokratiku u Mario Mallia mill-@alternattiva – Illejla fuq Xtra Ma’ @saviourbalzan fuq TVM fid-2050 pic.twitter.com/5IryKeQbHf
— Xtra (@XtraTvm) January 17, 2019