Democratic Alternative – The Green Party (AD)

Democratic Alternative – The Green Party (AD). The AD is the only Maltese third party of any true significance. The party won 1.8% of the vote at the 2013 national elections, way behind the big two and far from a seat, but the only minor party to get out of the double digits in terms of votes.

The AD was founded in 1989 when former Labour President Toni Abela and Labour parliamentary whip, Wenzu Mintoff (a nephew of legendary Labour PM Dom), resigned from the party in objection to elements of their former party tainted by corruption and political violence.

Mintoff led the party until 1998, until poor election results convinced both to re-join their former party. Nonetheless AD continued.

The party has come third in every election since 1989, but its 1.8% in 2013 is its best result.

Broadly AD is a green party, with centre-left and liberal positions on most issues. The party describes its priorities as social justice, civil rights, environmental justice, sustainable development and ecological modernisation and democracy. The party supports full gay rights, including equal marriage. The party supports broad democratic reform, is pro-immigration, anti-austerity and supports digital rights.

AD has two councillors in Maltese local government. The party’s current leader is Arnold Cassola, an academic specialising in Comparative Literature who previously served as a MP in the Italian parliament representing Italian expats.

While the AD is left of the Labour Party on many issues, the party actually appears to recruit from both Labour and the PN approximately equally, suggesting it serves as a slight protest vote.

While AD is very small, the party did win its best ever result at the 2004 European parliament election, with 9.3% of the vote. If it is capable of slightly beating this level it may be able to win a seat.

The AD is, naturally, a member of the European Green Party.

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