Sociologist, local councillor, activist, drummer from Malta

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Financing corruption and dying to live

Troy Davis, sentenced to death.. read below (2nd part of article) and show your solidarity

Michael Briguglio

Malta Today, Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Don’t expect any proper reform on party financing by parties who are so cosy with the unaccountable system of political money laundering.

All sorts of stories regarding misuse and mismanagement of public funds are being published in the press.

For example, it is becoming ever more evident that the tendering process for the provision of energy at the Delimara power station benefitted the eventual winners of the contract.

Various local councils have been involved in inappropriate tendering procedures, and we have heard stories of financial commissions and similar financial pranks.

People nag, but ultimately the status quo is retained. What should one expect, given Malta’s total lack of proper regulation regarding the financing of political parties?

In late 2009, the Council of Europe's Group of States against Corruption (Greco) published a report on the financing of political parties in Malta.

Greco recommends that political parties should declare donations above certain amounts and also state the identity of donors. Besides, donations from unknown sources should be banned and political parties should keep proper accounting and auditing systems.

The report also expresses concern that only the PN and the PL are represented in Malta's Select Committee dealing with such a matter – things are now actually worse, as the Select Committee is as dead as a dodo, following Labour’s infantile withdrawal and the near-invisibility of Speaker of the House Michael Frendo.

Apart from Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party, hardly anyone in the public sphere spoke about the Greco report, MaltaToday being one notable exception. The Nationalist and Labour parties were obviously dead silent.

The next time we nag about the mismanagement and misuse of public funds, we should keep in mind the free-for-all system as regards donations to political parties in a system of political money laundering.

We should also keep in mind the absurd electoral expenses system in Malta were various PN and PL spend extravagant amounts of money – far above that required by law – to buy themselves election. Ever been invited to a reception?

AD has long submitted its proposals to Parliament’s select committee on party financing – one can check them out here.

Don’t expect any proper reform on party financing by parties who are so cosy with the unaccountable system of political money laundering. If we have another one-party government next time around we can expect more of the same, apart from perhaps some preferred tendering ‘clients’.

On the other hand, if elected in parliament AD will give top priority to this issue, in order that Malta may have a proper party-financing system as found in other modern democracies.

In sum: If you want change, vote for it.

Troy Davis must live!

On a total different note, I strongly urge readers of Malta Today to show their solidarity with Troy Davis (pictured), who is subject to the death penalty in the USA. Amnesty International, Pope Benedict XVI, Nobel prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former US president Jimmy Carter have all appealed for clemency towards Davis.

According to Amnesty, his case is full of doubts, errors and prejudice, and there is no hard evidence that he killed policeman Mark MacPhail 19 years ago. A majority of witnesses admitted they lied when Davis was arraigned, and four have identified the person who could have killed MacPhail.

As long as there is hope, we can appeal for justice with Troy Davis and for all those who are subject to premeditated murder by the state in various countries of the world.

I appeal to all those who wish to show solidarity with Troy Davis by clicking on links below and take necessary action, which will not take more than a few minutes.

1 comment:

Kyra said...

Thanks for helping to bring attention to the plight of Troy Davis on your blog!

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