Shadow Gozo Minister Chris Said has said he can never condone attacks against the press “no matter where they’re originating from”.
Said’s Facebook post is being interpreted as criticism of Opposition leader Adrian Delia, who claimed this morning that certain media outlets, including Lovin Malta, are “conspiring” to harm him and are in cahoots with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
Said – a former PN secretary general – quoted from a report published by the Venice Commission following a recent analysis of Malta’s Constitution.
“The media and civil society are essential for democracy in any state. Their role as watchdogs is an indispensable precondition for the accountability of Government. The delegation of the Venice Commission had the impression that in Malta the media and civil society have difficulty in living up to these needs. Even when it is stressful for the authorities to endure their criticism, the latter have a duty to ensure that the media and civil society can freely express themselves”.
“I was among the PN’s delegation which had met up with the Venice Commission, I got to discuss the Maltese situation with them at length, and I am pleased that I had small part to play in it’s final report,” Said said. “However, it is now time to put their recommendations in practice. I can never accept or agree with certain attacks on civil society, no matter where they’re coming from.”
Said’s post was shared by Nationalist MPs Claudette Buttigieg and Jason Azzopardi, both of whom have been critical of Delia in the past.
“Attacking the media and civil society is a sign of weakness not strength,” Buttigieg said.