Thursday, 1 January 2009

Times: AD to propose widely respected national for President

Prof. Cassola (striped tie), talking to H.E. Arch-bishop Paul Cremona (centre) and Mons. Mercieca (2nd from right). Victor Galea, AD's General Secretary looks on (first from right).

(Caption inserted by P. Attard in the absence of one by the newspaper).

Alternattiva Demokratika is asking for the protection of the President to ensure that the big parties’ “illegally collected information” on voters was not utilised to the detriment of the Maltese citizen and the democratic process in the European Parliament elections next June.

Speaking during a visit to President Eddie Fenech Adami to give him the New Year’s greetings this morning, AD chairman Arnold Cassola also spoke on the election of a new President this year.

AD, he said, shall be meeting Opposition leader Joseph Muscat to propose for President a Maltese national who enjoys the support of all the Maltese and was also widely respected in the international community.

Unfortunately, he said, the Prime Minister refused to meet AD on the issue, citing constitutional grounds as a reason.

The AD delegation also visited Archbishop Paul Cremona. AD secretary general Victor Galea expressed AD’s concern with the state of the family in Malta and said the party was asking the Maltese government to introduce social and economic measures to strengthen the family structure and encourage new births.

Prof. Cassola expressed AD’s appreciation at the Vatican’s correction of its original statements on the criminalisation of gays. However, he said, it was quite concerned at his statement that behaviour beyond traditional heterosexual relations was "a destruction of God's work".

P. Attard's Note: I would like to thank for NOT publishing my comment when I congratulated Prof. Cassola for mentioning gays.


The original AD Press Release is here:


A delegation from Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party, led by Chairperson Arnold Cassola and Secretary General Victor Galea, visited the President Edward Fenech Adami and Archbishop Paul Cremona on New Year's day.

At the meeting with the President, Arnold Cassola stated that the New Year will bring with it the election of Malta's new President and that it was important that a President for all the Maltese and Gozitans was elected. In order to try an ensure that, for the first time since 1976, Malta will have a President elected by a much greater majority than the usual 51% of Maltese parliamentarians, Prof. Cassola announced that AD shall be meeting the Leader of the Opposition to suggest the name of a candidate that has the trust of all the Maltese people as well as of the international community. Unfortunately, Dr Lawrence Gonzi has declined to meet AD on the issue, citing constitutional grounds as a reason.

Arnold Cassola also pointed out to the President that in June 2009, elections for the European Parliament will be held. Alternattiva Demokratika will have to fight the electoral battle against big party machines that have an illegal voter data collection system. In view of this, Alternattiva Demokratika is asking the Data Protection Commissioner to ensure that this illegality is acted upon and that illegally stored data is not utilized to the detriment of the Maltese citizen and of the whole democratic process.

At the meeting with Archbishop Cremona, Secretary General Victor Galea pointed out that Alternattiva Demokratika is concerned at hardships being experienced by different families and households in Malta and is asking the Maltese government to ensure that its social policy is in line with current realities, protects the social and economic needs of families and households and is proactive in its approach for a better quality of life and a more equal society.

Victor Galea expressed AD's appreciated on the Church's social conscience, citing the Church's solidarity with workers as an example of the latter. 'Social and environmental justice are key priorities for Green Parties', added Galea.

Victor Galea stressed with ArchBishop Cremona that in its near 20 years existence Alternattiva Demokratika has been consistently militating in favour of life and he hoped that the Archbishop appreciated the fact that all political parties in Malta are against abortion.

Finally, Arnold Cassola noted that AD is the party for Civil liberties and therefore appreciated the fact that the Vatican had corrected the original statements by Cardinal Migliore regarding the criminalization of gay persons. On the other hand, AD was quite concerned at the words pronounced by Pope Benedict on homosexuality, when he specified that behaviour beyond traditional heterosexual relations was "a destruction of God's work".

We hope that the Church is in total agreement with the Charter of Fundamental Rights entrenched in the Lisbon Treaty, that states that there should be no discrimination based on sexual orientation", added Prof. Cassola.

'A pluralistic, democratic and secular society should guarantee civil rights and free expression. In this regard, the Church has all the right to express its opinions', concluded Prof. Cassola.

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