Democratic Party (Malta)

The Democratic Party (Maltese: Partit Demokratiku, PD) was a centrist to centre-left[1] political party in Malta. It was founded in 2016 after a split from the Labour Party. It elected Malta's first two third party MPs for the first time since the country's Independence. In August 2020 the party announced an agreement to merge with the green Democratic Alternative party to form a new party called AD+PD.[2] The merger was conducted on 17 October 2020.

Democratic Party
Partit Demokratiku
LeaderTimothy Alden
Deputy LeaderRaymond Azzopardi
Secretary GeneralMark Zerafa
Founded21 October 2016 (2016-10-21)
Dissolved17 October 2020; 8 months ago (2020-10-17)
Split fromLabour Party
Merged intoAD+PD
Youth wingThe Orange Youth
IdeologySocial liberalism
Green liberalism
Political positionCentre to centre-left
European affiliationAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
European Parliament groupRenew Europe
Colours  Orange


The PD was founded in 2016 by Marlene Farrugia, who previously sat as an MP for the Labour Party before leaving the party and sitting as an independent MP. Announcing the formation of the new party in June 2016, Farrugia as interim leader stated that the party was a new alternative to the traditionally dominant Labour and Nationalist parties.[3]

Upon formation, founder Marlene Farrugia was declared interim leader.[4] On 21 October 2016, Farrugia was elected the first leader of the PD at a general meeting to confirm the party executive.[5] The party was formally registered with the Electoral Commission of Malta in November 2016.[6]

The party afterwards engaged in talks to form a pre-electoral coalition with the Nationalist Party, resulting in the formation of Forza Nazzjonali, just in time for the 2017 Maltese general election.

PD elected the first Members of Parliament who were not a part of one of the two major parties for the first time since the Independence of Malta.[7]

Shortly after the election, Marlene Farrugia resigned as leader of PD, claiming the party needed to form an identity of its own.[8]

In the ensuing leadership challenge, Anthony Buttigieg became the leader of PD, until standing down in late 2018 to run as an MEP candidate for the party.[9] He was replaced by Godfrey Farrugia, one of the party's two MPs. Godfrey Farrugia led the party into the 2019 European Parliament election in Malta. Some months afterwards, both Godfrey Farrugia and Marlene Farrugia resigned from PD, claiming they were giving it a chance to rebuild the third party movement with a fresh image.[10]

After the resignation of PD's Members of Parliament, deputy leader Timothy Alden declared that he was not quitting anything and became the interim leader of the party.[11] In December of 2019, it was announced that ever since September, the party had been in talks with Alternattiva Demokratika to merge into a new party.[12]

On the 17th of October, 2020, the party merged with Alternattiva Demokratika to create the AD+PD.[13]


The PD website cited a manifesto covering a variety of domains, focussing prominently on democratic principles and good governance. It also tackled issues of the economy, environment, justice and security, as well as other social issues.[14]


2017 general electionsEdit

Farrugia stated in January 2017 that the PD was "close" to forming a deal with the opposition Nationalist Party where the two parties would cooperate against the Labour government, though she did not specify if such a deal would be a formal coalition.[15] On 7 April 2017 Farrugia confirmed in an interview with the Times of Malta that PD candidates would be listed as Nationalist Party candidates on the ballot for the 2017 general election.[16] Despite reaching agreement about running candidates under the same banner, formal coalition negotiations remained ongoing[17] until the announcement of a formal agreement on 28 April.[18] Under the agreement, PD candidates contested the 2017 election with their party affiliation listed as Nationalist "tal-oranġjo" (the orange ones) and any PD candidates elected to Parliament would have been part of a Nationalist-led government.[18] Both Marlene Farrugia and Godfrey Farrugia were the only Democratic Party candidates to be elected in 2017, making them the first elected Members of Parliament from a third party since 1962.[19]

Post-2017 electionsEdit

Marlene Farrugia formally resigned from the Leadership of the Partit Demokratiku on 21 August 2017, as part of the process of giving the party an identity distinct from herself.[20] On 30 October 2017, Anthony Buttigieg was declared the new leader, with Marlene Farrugia and Godfrey Farrugia providing parliamentary continuity in the executive.[21] On 1 December 2017 the PD was admitted into the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party,[22] which made the party's image officially considered pro-European.[failed verification]

2019 European parliament electionsEdit

PD contested for the 2019 European parliament elections, their first outing in European elections. They announced the approval of 3 European parliamentary election candidates, Martin Cauchi Inglott, a senior retired Armed Forces of Malta officer and the current secretary general of the party, and Anthony Buttigieg, the former leader of the party, and Cami Appelgren, an environmental activist and the leader of the environmental organization Malta Clean Up. PD failed to secure any seats, winning 5,276 votes, or 2.03% of the votes cast.[23]

2019 local council electionsEdit

PD contested for the 2019 local council elections. PD announced the approval of 7 local council election candidates: Timothy Alden for Sliema, Raymond Azzopardi for St. Julian's, Mark Zerafa for Birkirkara, Karen Vella Freeman for St. Paul's Bay, Charles Polidano for Qrendi, Michael Bonett for Valletta, and Manuel Farrugia for Tarxien.[24] The party failed to elect any of its candidates.[25]


Executive committeeEdit

  • Leader – Timothy Alden
  • Deputy Leader – Raymond Azzopardi
  • General Secretary – Mark Zerafa
  • Public Relations Officer – Marcus Lauri
  • Treasurer – Carmel Asciak
  • Members – Melissa J. Bagley, Matthew Mizzi, Martina Caruana, Duncan Bonnici

Election resultsEdit

General electionsEdit

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
2017 Marlene Farrugia 4,846 1.6
2 / 67
New   3rd Opposition

European electionsEdit

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position
2019 Godfrey Farrugia 5,276 2.03
0 / 6
New   4th

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Balzan, Jurgen (1 June 2016). "Launch of new political party imminent". Malta Today. Archived from the original on 2 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Malta's small parties to merge". Times of Malta. Retrieved 2020-08-03.
  3. ^ "Marlene Farrugia is temporary leader of new Democratic Party". Times of Malta. 4 June 2016. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016.
  4. ^ Rudolf, Uwe James (2018). Historical dictionary of Malta (3 ed.). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 116. ISBN 9781538119181. OCLC 1040078334.
  5. ^ Scicluna, Martin (16 November 2016). "The Marlene effect". Times of Malta. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Ħames partiti japplikaw għar-reġistrazzjoni - tal-PL ikollha tistenna". TVM News (in Maltese). 18 November 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Watch: Marlene Farrugia's election met with counting hall taunts". Times of Malta. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  8. ^ "Marlene Farrugia steps down as PD leader". Times of Malta. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  9. ^ "Anthony Buttigieg to step down as PD leader to contest MEP election". Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  10. ^ "Godfrey, Marlene Farrugia resign from PD, will remain in Parliament until end of legislature - The Malta Independent". Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  11. ^ "'I am not quitting anything' - PD deputy leader". Times of Malta. Retrieved 2020-10-18.
  12. ^ "PD and AD prepare to join forces for next general election". Times of Malta. Retrieved 2020-10-18.
  13. ^ "AD+PD formalised as small parties merge". Times of Malta. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  14. ^ "Democracy And Good Governance". Partit Demokratiku.
  15. ^ "PN, Democratic Party close to a deal – Marlene Farrugia". The Malta Independent. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  16. ^ Grech, Herman (7 April 2017). "PD candidates to contest election under PN banner". Times of Malta. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  17. ^ Attard, Rachel (11 April 2017). "Busuttil insists that PN/PD coalition still under discussion". The Malta Independent. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  18. ^ a b Camilleri, Ivan (28 April 2017). "PD candidates to contest on PN list". Times of Malta. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  19. ^ Borg, Bertrand (6 June 2017). "Marlene Farrugia's election met with counting hall taunts". Times of Malta. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  20. ^ Ltd, Allied Newspapers. "Watch: Marlene Farrugia's election met with counting hall taunts".
  21. ^ "Anthony Buttigieg is new Democratic Party leader".
  22. ^ "ALDE welcomes new member parties | ALDE Party". 2017-11-30. Retrieved 2018-06-09.
  23. ^ "Electoral Commission of Malta".
  24. ^ "PD launches local councils election manifesto, introduces candidates - The Malta Independent". Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  25. ^ "Electoral Commission of Malta".
  26. ^
  27. ^ "AD+PD formalised as small parties merge". Times of Malta. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  28. ^ "Timothy Alden is new Partit Demokratiku leader". Retrieved 2020-10-18.
  29. ^ "PD and AD to merge into a single party". Retrieved 2020-10-18.

External linksEdit