Madame Justice Anna Felice this morning ruled in favour of the Labour Party’s “fundamental right” to pass on its message as a political party through billboards.
The PL had a filed a request to prevent Transport Malta from removing political billboards depicting Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi with his eyes shut, covering his ears.
Arguing that Labour had not filed an application for the billboards to be installed, Transport Malta had wanted to remove the structure. The authority also argued that the billboards were distracting.
But according to Felice, the billboards hadn’t been erected illegally and argued that it was the fundamental right of every political party to pass on its message, as guaranteed by the Constitution and the European Conventions.
“At first glance, the Court has not been presented with any valid reason to believe that the billboards go against requirements defined in Maltese law. It is for this reason that the Courts cannot consider the billboards to have been illegally placed in terms of the mentioned Art. 9,” the Court ruled.
In a reaction the Labour Party said that the billboards were annoying the Prime Minister: “We are now in a situation were state authorities are being used to stop the criticism we raise.”
The PL added that it would continue to pass on its political message according to law with any medium. It also condemned government for making use of authorities to stop the party from exercising its fundamental right of expression.