The new president of the Chamber of Advocates sees no conflict with his role as head of the Nationalist Party’s electoral commission or his representation of the party on the Broadcasting Authority.

Peter Fenech told Times of Malta that he was appointed to the Broadcasting Authority by the prime minister and it was, therefore, not a political appointment.

“The nomination of Dr Fenech on the BA is a nomination presented by the prime minister, and hence is not a partisan nomination,” a spokesperson for the Chamber of Advocates said when asked about the matter.

Fenech has been a member of the Broadcasting Authority since 2011.

In his new role as president of the chamber, Fenech will now sit on the Judicial Appointments Committee which receives and examines expressions of interest from persons interested in being appointed judge or magistrate.

The committee was reformed in 2020 on the advice of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission to ensure no political influence is exerted by the government’s executive branch when it comes to nominating judges and magistrates.

It is now composed of the chief justice, two judges elected by their peers, a magistrate elected by his or her peers, the Commissioner for Administrative Investigations (Ombudsman) and the president of the Chamber of Advocates.

The committee conducts interviews and evaluations of candidates for the posts and then recommends to the president of Malta the names of three suitable candidates.

For the past years, Fenech has taken on the role of chief electoral commissioner of the Nationalist Party, responsible for internal elections when they happen. He was particularly busy during the time when former leader Adrian Delia lost two confidence votes, one within the PN’s parliamentary group and the other in the executive committee. Initially, some individuals were interested in contesting the election but it was later decided that only Bernard Grech should challenge Delia.

Delia had been elected PN leader on September 16, 2017. He was elected by the party’s members in a process that was used for the first time in that election.

After the heavy 2022 general election defeat, Grech was the only one who expressed interest in the post and he was confirmed in his position by 81 per cent of the Nationalist Party councillors.

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