PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR JUSTICE, CULTURE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

The Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government notes that The Malta Independent decided to keep repeating the claim of an “ID Card crises” despite the categorical denial issued yesterday by the Government.

The Ministry repeats: it is not true that Identity Malta is facing an internal crisis. It is not true that there is a collapse of the ID cards system. There is no internal report relating to problems emanating from sampling of the ID card registry. It is not true that an internal inquiry was called.

Today’s front page story is, again, fraught with incorrect statements.

Firstly, the ID Cards Unit of Identity Malta only issues ID cards for Maltese citizens. Expatriates (be they European Union or third country nationals) are not issued an ID card but a residence document. This residence document does not entitle anyone to vote in general elections and there is absolutely no link at all between a residence document and the right to vote in general elections because holders of a residence document are not entitled to vote in general elections.

Secondly, Dejan Zunic, a Serb national who was arraigned in court in 2016, was not in possession of two different ID cards, because expatriates are issued with a mere residence document. Furthermore, it is also not true that Mr Zunic was issued with two valid residence documents at the same time. Mr Zunic was originally in possession of a residence document issued on the basis of a Yugoslavian passport. Years later, when his previous residence document was expired, he submitted an application for another residence permit on the basis of a new Serbian passport showing a different surname.

With regards to identity cards, once a Maltese citizen is issued with a new ID card all previous cards are invalidated and Identity Malta holds and registers details for tracking purposes.

Also, the fact that a Maltese citizen holds a valid identity card does not entitle him or her to an automatic right to vote. An example is the case of Maltese citizens who have been given an effective and serious prison sentence by the Courts. The Electoral Commission, and not Identity Malta, is the body which regulates issues of voting rights and Identity Malta has no say whatsoever in determining which Maltese citizens have a right to vote or otherwise.

Source: Government of Malta