The Electoral Commission has agreed to register ABBA as a new Christian political party after it was accused of discrimination for initially refusing to do so.

The party had filed a judicial protest claiming the commission was discriminating against it when it refused to register the name because ‘ABBA’ could not be shortened.

The commission was insisting on an acronym when the name was already too short for that, the party insisted.

Ivan Grech Mintoff, the former leader of Alleanza Bidla, filed the judicial protest against Chief Electoral Commissioner Joseph Camilleri. Grech Mintoff now leads the new party on a promise to lobby for “Christian” values.

The commission has written to the party to say it took note of the judicial protest and has informed it that its request to be registered as a political party, enabling it to contest the forthcoming general election, was being accepted.

Contacted on Thursday, Grech Mintoff confirmed the outcome.

“When the government institutions abuse the law to deny a party the right to field candidates in an election it is a form of corruption and an infringement of all citizens’ basic human rights. I’m proud that ABBA stood its ground and won,” he said.

He added that this did not change the fact “that the government is corrupt and the current major party of opposition is inept”.

“This behaviour demonstrates why Malta needs a credible third party. We will provide the citizens with such a real and viable alternative to both the traditional parties in the coming election,” he said.

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