Politcal squabbles have been reaching what seems like a rare peak as of late, as a controversial National Youth Council EGM led to accusations of discrimination and voter suppression directed to the event. So amidst the heated reactions and individual rumours, what really went on? Was anyone wrongly censored?
What was the event?
The National Youth Council of Malta, held an Extraordinary General Meeting last Saturday, the aim of which was to discuss and decide on several issues such as new full members, and several statutory amendments.
Who took part in the EGM?
As the highest decision-making body of the Council, the General Meeting is attended by all full or associated members of the National Youth Council, along with members of its executive board, and, if applicable, commissions and organs of the council. It is noteworthy that of these, only Full Member Organisations have a right to vote, through their representatives.
The body has the power to decide on all material that is brought before it by the Council’s members or organs – its decisions are final and have an ultimate say.
At the beginning, 24* members were voting – a number which increased to 27* following the attendance of a confirmed representative and the granting of voting rights to two new full members of the council.
What is a confirmed representative?
Every full member of the National Youth Council is required to inform the Council that they will be attending a General Meeting with the necessary documents included.
If a full member would like to have a vote during the proceedings, it is to inform the Council of the identity of its representative, so that this may be confirmed between the submission deadline and the start of said meeting. This was done by all full members which subsequently had a vote during the EGM in question.
Is Kunsill Studenti Mcast a full member?
Did they have voting rights during the EGM? Why?
No. As confirmed by the Council’s Board of Control during the meeting, KSM did not submit the identity of a voting representative. This meant that there was no means of confirming an individual who would vote on behalf of the organisation, in line with statutory regulations.
Why were accusations of organisation censorship published?
During the meeting, some inidividuals claimed that KSM would in fact like to vote in the procedures and will provide an identity to the Board as soon as possible. The Board of Control representative denied this request, on the grounds that regulations were not followed, making the move illegal, and also that, a confirmation procedure of an organisation’s representative cannot be correctly followed in a short timeframe, let alone while the meeting is running. This decision was confirmed unanimously by the rest of the Board of Control.
Did voter censorship occur?
Much like the case with voter documents during a general election, identity confirmation is essential for the legitimacy of any democratic procedure. As such, althought one can always understand the frustration that such a situation can provide, having considered the regulations that were breached, and the fact that a valid identity confirmation was not possible, it is fully evident that any accusations that occured were invalid.
*KSJC, Pulse, MAYA, DSA, Banda, Girl Guides, GWU, FZL, MŻPN, Third Eye, Insite, LGBTI+, MUT, Graffiti, JCI, TDM, Ksu, Scouts, MUSC, JEF, ELSA, CMTU, UHM, SDM
**KSJC, Pulse, GħMU, MAYA, DSA, Żgħażagħ Bandisti, Girl Guides, GWU, FŻL, MŻPN, ESN, Third Eye, Insite, LGBTI+, MUT, Graffiti, JCI, MaltMUN, TDM, KSU, Scouts, MUSC, JEF, ELSA, CMTU, UHM, SDM