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MALTATODAY 23 October 2022

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3 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 23 OCTOBER 2022 NEWS Win a trip to Dubai In collaboration with with your moneybase Mastercard. Every €10 spent earns you a chance to win. Terms and conditions apply. Visit for more information. Moneybase payment services are brought to you by Moneybase Limited (MB) C87193, which is licensed by the MFSA to transact the business of a Financial Institution in terms of the Financial Institutions Act, Cap 376. Moneybase Investment Services are brought to you by Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd (CCIS) C13729 and is licensed by the MFSA to undertake investment services business under the Investment Services Act, Cap 370. Moneybase Invest offers direct market access and speed of execution and is intended for knowledgeable and experienced individuals taking their own investment decisions. The value of investments may go up as well as down and investors might not get back the original amount invested. MB and CCIS are both subsidiaries of the CC Finance Group plc with their registered address situated at Level 0, Ewropa Business Centre, Dun Karm Street, Birkirkara, BKR 9034, Malta. JAMES DEBONO THE Electoral Commission has still not received the Labour Party's accounts for 2020, and is still reviewing the Labour Party's accounts for 2019, over seven months after these were present- ed – woefully late – in March 2022. The Electoral Commission has confirmed with MaltaToday that so far AD, PN, Imperium Eu- ropa, Għarb l-Ewwel, the Partit Popolari, and the defunct Partit Demokratiku, have all presented their accounts for 2020 and these are now being reviewed by the Commission's auditors before being published. "As soon as these reports are cleared by the Commission and by the auditors, these reports will be published accordingly," chief Electoral Commissioner Joseph B Camilleri told MaltaToday. But the Labour Party has so far not submitted its accounts. The law regulating political party finances stipulates that parties have to present their ac- counts by not later than April of the next financial year, which means that in this case accounts should have been presented in 2021. But the Commission cited a number of extensions granted to all political parties during the pandemic to explain the delay in the publication of these reports. Moreover Labour's accounts for 2019 – which were present- ed last March – are still being reviewed by the Electoral Com- mission and are not available for public scrutiny. "This statement of accounts is still being reviewed internally, and shall be published on the Electoral Commission's website as soon as the said re- view is finalised," chief electoral commissioner Joseph B. Camill- eri told MaltaToday. By law these accounts should have been presented in 2020. The Nationalist Party's ac- counts for 2019, showing that the party had a deficit of €607,279, were published on the Electoral Commission's website in May. But the Labour Party has so far evaded public scrutiny of its fi- nancial situation as its accounts have yet to be published. When reminded about the legal deadlines for the presentation of these reports, the Commissioner referred to the "various exten- sions of the statutory deadlines for the submission of the relative reports" granted, because polit- ical parties "could not convene their annual conferences/meet- ings which were to approve the reports in question." As things stand, the latest pub- lished accounts by the Labour Party date back to 2019; while the public still has no access to the accounts and donation re- ports of any party for 2020 and 2021. No Cabinet asset lists Earlier on Wednesday, the PN's spokesperson for justice, Karol Aquilina, called out the Labour administration over the unac- ceptable delay in tabling min- isters' declaration of assets and interests in the House. There is no set date for these asset declarations to be tabled in parliament, but the current delay is one of the longest in years. Aquilina said Prime Minister Robert Abela had not yet pub- lished his declaration of inter- ests and that of his ministers and parliamentary secretaries. "This is the longest delay ever in the publication of declaration of assets in the House. In a similar, unprecedented situation, former prime minister Joseph Muscat had not even published his dec- laration of assets for 2016," Aq- uilina said. Aquilina said Abela was pro- moting the same culture of "opacity and impunity". "The PN expects Abela to pub- lish these declarations immedi- ately for 2021. It is unacceptable that 2022 is practically over, and none of the Cabinet's declaration of assets have been presented to the House as is their obligation." In the House, government Whip Andy Ellul opted for par- tisan arguments instead of say- ing why ministers have not yet submitted their asset declara- tions. No less than three Opposi- tion MPs – Ivan Castillo, Beppe Fenech Adami and Mark Antho- ny Sammut – asked Ellul why the Prime Minister and his ministers had not yet submitted their as- set declarations. However, each time, Ellul simply said ministers had no problem to submit their declarations... without saying when they will be doing so. PL accounts in the dark, no strict application of electoral law

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