Partit Demokratiku have publicly apologised for the insulting comments posted on their official Facebook page.
With members of all sides of the political spectrum calling out the young party’s social media attack on Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia Portelli, the party has pledged to launch an internal inquiry. They also said they’ve punished the person responsible for posting the comment, but have said it was neither of the elected MPs.
“Partit Demokratiku apologises in no uncertain terms for the use of the term “village escort” in relation to MP Julia Portelli Farrugia on its Facebook page. The party takes full responsibility for its actions and those of its members. The statement published on the party’s is not representative of the party’s views and should not have been published. An internal review has been launched. A board of inquiry has been set up headed by Secretary General and has been asked to revert with recommendations within 10 Days,” they said in a public statement.
The comment came after a heated exchange in Parliament between Julia Farrugia Portelli and PD’s Godfrey Farrugia and Marlene Farrugia earlier this week.
Godfrey Farrugia was asked to leave Parliament due to his outbursts and behaving disorderly, and Marlene Farrugia called Julia Farrugia Portelli a pulċinella (a clown), leading to Julia Farrugia Portelli asked the speaker for police protection after feeling threatened.
Anthony Buttigieg, PD’s leader, called for greater respect moving on
“Even if people do not agree on principles or ideals, there must always be reciprocal respect. PD will be issuing an official apology, and I will be taking steps to ensure that no such comment is ever issued in the party’s name ever again,” said Dr Buttigieg to the Times of Malta.
He also said that he had personally apologised to Ms Farrugia Portelli for his party’s behavior. The party would now be heralding new guidelines for their social media use moving forward.
PD were roundly condemned for their offensive comments posted on Worker’s Day
We are a sick country. There’s no two ways about it. Calling a female MP a whore just cos she dares voice her opinions? So embryos (yes, a handful of cells) are sacred, but a women with an opinion is a whore. Way to go PD, you’ve shown ur colours. Solidarity w/ @JuliaFarrugia
— Mel Hart (@melahart) May 2, 2018
After yesterday’s sexist attack on @JuliaFarrugia by the ever so classy PD, I’m convinced now more than ever that sexism and classism are still a big problem in this country. Your gender or your social background does not make you better or worse than your fellow woman or man.
— John Greig (@JohnGreig_Live) May 2, 2018
We are not yet a society free of sexism, and this will continue to be an issue for all women candidates. Solidarity with @JuliaFarrugia
— James Grech (@1jamesgrech) May 2, 2018
Calling a female politician a village escort? Thanks, PD for finally confirming you were never much of an alternative after all
— Josanne Cassar (@JosanneCassar) May 2, 2018
I strongly condemn this comment – it is clear that @Demokratiku have no idea how to attract more women to enter the political fray. Solidarity with @JuliaFarrugia – your work within @MaltaGov & @PL_Malta define who you are! Keep up your good work! ???????? pic.twitter.com/iQwLCQ1kaf
— Clayton Bartolo (@BartoloClayton) May 2, 2018
This is not the first time this year PD have been called out for using abusive language. Marlene Farrugia recently called a Gozitan Labour MP, Clint Camilleri, a ġbejna, which he condemned as a slur against Gozo.