Labour governments of 30 and 40 years ago ruled Malta with an "iron fist" where basic freedoms were "non-existent", the Nationalist Party said in reply to allegations made by Labour convert Mario Farrugia Borg.
Former PN councillor Mr Farrugia Borg on Sunday described the PN as a "party of apartheid" and accused it of having been uncomfortable with his Muslim beliefs, despite assuring him they wouldn't.
He believes a debate in 2000 about Islam in Malta, to which he had been invited by the youth section of the party, was orchestrated to embarrass him as he was "accused, mocked and told that my beliefs were not compatible with those of the party".
Asked to respond to his allegations and criticism, the PN did not make any mention of the event he referred to but said Mr Farrugia Borg was never asked to re-contest on the PN ticket. However, the party said it had strived to make Malta a "free and democratic" society where "freedom of expression" and "the right to religious freedom, sexual orientation and political allegiance" were respected and guaranteed.
"This is a far cry from the Labour governments of the 1970s and 1980s that ruled Malta with an iron fist and (where) freedom of expression and association, religious freedom, sexual orientation and political allegiance of one's choice were nonexistent."
Mr Farrugia Borg, who addressed Labour's general conference on Sunday, had confessed to having been a Mintoffian in his childhood but rejected the Labour Party during the 1980s because of the political circumstances of the time.
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