Malta: Buy a passport, get your vote free | Times of Malta

The government calls it an individual investment programme intended to attract to Malta people with talent and money to invest. The more down to earth deem it a sale of Maltese/European passports and information tabled in Parliament indicates that is just what the IIP actually is: a sale. Over 80 per cent of the 143 successful applicants so far have signed five-year rent contracts rather than opting to buy a property in Malta. The implication is that they have no intention of settling here permanently, if at all. Chris Kalin, president of Henley & Partners, which runs the programme, was more succinct when he said that many of his clients were only interested in getting a Maltese passport rather than living here. In other words, they want a passport to Europe. The IIP scheme, which had not been included in the Labour Party electoral programme, was controversial from the start and amended several times along the way until a settlement was reached with the European Union.

Now, a further issue has arisen: the new Maltese passport holders have a right to vote, under certain conditions established by the Constitution, and which include residing in Malta. At least 100 IIP applicants have ended up on the Electoral Register and the Nationalist Party is crying foul.

Party deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami said “faceless” voters have mysteriously and abusively found themselves on the register when they did not have a right to vote. He said the new voters had actually declared they were not living here. The party, seeing this as “institutionalised corruption”, subsequently initiate court cases for the deletion of 91 IIP voters. The Electoral Commission has accepted that almost half the PN’s complaints on voting rights were justified.

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