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The Democratic Alternative (Alternattiva Demokratika) is a Green political party in Malta, particularly dedicated to environmentalism.
Democratic Alternative was founded in 1989 when former Malta Labour Party President Toni Abela and former Labour MP and Parliamentary whip Wenzu Mintoff joined a number of environmental activists to form the new political party. Abela and Mintoff had resigned their posts in protest to the presence of certain elements in the Labour Party tainted with political violence and corruption. For this Abela and Mintoff were expelled from the Labour Party. Mintoff retained his seat in Parliament and, between 1989 and 1992 was effectively an MP for the new party as well as its first Chairperson.
Democratic Alternative first stood for national elections in 1992 when it obtained 1.69% of first preference votes (their best result so far in a general election) and no seats. In the subsequent elections of 1996 and 1998 the Party’s share of the vote declined. Following the 1998 result, Abela and Mintoff resigned from the party and returned to the Labour Party. Abela was to be elected to the post of Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in 2008. Harry Vassallo replaced Mintoff as Chairperson of the Party.
In 2003 the party campaigned for a Yes vote in the referendum on membership in the European Union but the declining trend in general elections continued and in election that year the Party obtained only 0.7% of first preference votes. In 2004 the party obtained a remarkable result in the European Parliament election with 9.33% of first preference votes cast and the party’s candidate, Arnold Cassola narrowly failing to be elected as MEP.
In the Maltese general election of 2008, the party increased its share of the vote to 1.31%. Following the result Vassallo resigned as Chairperson and was replaced by Cassola.
Democratic Alternative holds a seat in each of the local councils of Attard, Sliema and Sannat.
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