President George Vella has launched a new national conference on national unity, keeping up with pledge he made when he was appointed to the role.
The conference, which will take place on 27th February at Verdala Palace, will be led by a panel made up for the current chairman of the media literacy board Reno Bugeja, Aleks Farrugia, Carmen Sammut, Chamber of Commerce President David Xuereb, Andrew Azzopardi, and Simon Bugeja.
“The time has come for us to ask about which causes we must unite over… I insist that we must be united on certain issues.” The President said that the event must be held “as far away from partisan politics as possible,” he said.
The goal of the conference will be to strengthen civil discourse and discussion in the country while addressing other issues like discrimination.
“Do we have respect for other opinions? Do we try to convince through discussion or force? This is because we have lost mutual trust and trust in the institutions,” he explained.
Turning to MPs, Vella said it was their duty to ensure that civic discourse is upheld.
Taking questions from the press, Vella also referenced the issue surrounding partisan media reporting, calling for “balanced, responsible and factual reporting that is also educational”.
Lovin Malta has opened a court case against the state arguing that a law approved by Parliament in 1991 to permit party-owned stations One and Net to broadcast propaganda went completely contrary to the demands of the Constitution, which states that broadcasting must be impartial.
The court case was filed yesterday by lawyers Eve Borg Costanzi and Matthew Cutajar. The case will be heard in front of the Civil Courts.
A number of high-profile Maltese politicians have criticised the existence of party media in the past, including former Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami, who said they’ll eventually be made redundant; former President George Abela; and former Finance Minister Lino Spiteri. Former Prime Minister Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici even predicted that the law would be challenged in court.
You can read all about the case on www.kaxxaturi.com.
Those who would like to reserve a place at the Verdala Palace can do so by sending their details to [email protected]. Places are limited due to the restrictions in place to control the COVID-19 pandemic. However, for participation to be open to as many people as possible, the conference will also be broadcast live on the President’s Facebook page, with the public having the opportunity to share their views online.
What do you think of the President’s announcement? Comment below