Loyalty to constitution and to the party

Loyalty to constitution and to the party

Since political parties in Malta remain to date the most unregulated bodies at law, one could get the wrong impression they are above the law. Obviously in countries upholding the rule of law no one is above the law. since unfortunately our country has been through much undesirable political polarisation, to some it might appear that party loyalty is the alpha and omega of our political system, which obvioulsy it is not.

Matters are further compounded and complicated by the fact that most people are very unfamiliar with the basic constitutional notions animating our system even though unfortunately politics seesm to be a national pastime.

In totalitarian states political parties are supreme. But not so in democracies. Political parties operate within a constitutional structure, and they are means to an end, not ends in themselves.

The secretary general or treasurer of a political party, for example are party delegates. Their sole loyalty is towards their party. However elected members of parliament are not party delegates, they are representatives of the people elected on a party ticket. They have dual allegiance, to the Constitution and the People and also to the political party on whose ticket they were elected.

When a government backbencher, for example is faced with a polluting project in his constituency he is duty bound to voice his constituents’ concerns, and he would be abdicating his responsibilities if he does otherwise. This is the fundamental principle of representation.

Party loyalty is important but should not be abused.

For example party loyalty should not be abused by ministers who think they can ride roughshod over everyone, relying on blind support from the backbench. Party loyalty means that ministers who fail shoulder political responsibility and resign, refraining from embarrasing their colleagues, the party and government.

The people are sovereign and the constitution is supreme.

The Constitution is not the manual of party loyalty but is based on the principles of the rule of law, the separation of powers, the fundamental principle of representation and accountability amongst others.


  • Jonathan Camilleri
    Posted at 20:05h, 16 December

    I reviewed this article in line of current criticism in view of how Europe may see us as a country full to the brim with corruption, as outlined by Transparency International, and, this is not giving us good marks.

    Yet lest I be taken for a madman or a rebel (lol), I am quoting sources who are surely respected in judiciary and transparency …

    Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index ranked Malta in the 37th place with a 5.6 score, and 20th out of 30 countries that included EU member states, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland. New EU entrants Estonia, Slovenia and Cyprus were ahead of Malta.
    Speaking during the debate in Parliament on changes to the Permanent Commission Against Corruption Act, Mr Brincat said Malta had obtained averages of 5.2, 5.6 and 5.8 in the last three years. A country with an average of 10 was one which was free of corruption, and countries such as Cyprus, Estonia and Portugal were ranked higher than Malta.

    Judges in Malta are nomin-ated by the Prime Minister and appointed by the President. They are generally plucked from the legal field.

  • tal Gabbana
    Posted at 12:53h, 03 August

    Dal Blogg hsibtu fuq dak ix xlukkajr tant leali li hu jew il familja tieghu akwistaw gabbana tiswa l mijjiet ta eluf fuq art tal gvern u li trendi pagatella sabiha kuljum.

    Missu ma jkunx leali lejn il PN!

    Mbaghad tisimghu jitkellem tahseb li ta gidu ghal partit! Jew! Xi San Domenico Savio!

    U fuq kollox,dil lealta kolla! Dan missieru ma kienx bicca wahda ma Mintof, jorqod u jqum mieghu?

    Jien lil-Delia ntih in no 1.

  • Pawlu Mizzi
    Posted at 21:41h, 18 July

    AMEN! Prosit Franco! Keep it going!

  • alan
    Posted at 07:54h, 18 July

    Agreed !