From Naxxar to Namibia: Councillor to be appointed ambassador

Diplomats raise concern about his appointment

 

Malta’s Foreign Minister Ian Borg has nominated a Labour Party activist and regional councillor to fill the role of Malta’s non-resident High Commissioner to Namibia, the latest in a series of partisan appointments in Malta’s diplomatic service.

Clifford Galea Vella Maslennikov is the former Deputy Mayor of Naxxar and currently Labour’s elected president of the Northern Regional Council, which encompasses several local councils from the north.

Galea Vella Maslennikov appeared before the Parliamentary Appointments Committee and was questioned for this new role. This was a mere formality, as the government controlled the majority.

In any case, all MPs, including those from the PN Opposition, approved his nomination despite a series of partisan appointments.

The committee includes PL members Andy Ellul, Chris Agius, and Amanda Spiteri Grech and PN members Karol Aquilina and Adrian Delia.

Until recently, Vella Maslennikov was the health minister’s communications coordinator and a canvasser for Naxxar Labour politician Michael Farrugia.

Vella Maslennikov, 39, has no known knowledge of diplomacy and has never worked in the sector.

The long list of jobs held by Galea Vella Maslennikov has nothing to do with diplomacy.

Clifford Galea Vella Maslennikov’s work history shows he has no experience in diplomacy. Source: Facebook

According to his social media pages, the former 2013 Labour election candidate has held several jobs during the past decade, mostly in government departments and agencies.

He has held various roles, including a teacher at the Institute for Tourism Studies, a reporter at Gwida, a social worker, an author, a spokesman, and ONE TV presenter, none of which lasted very long.

Experienced diplomats consulted by The Shift said his appointment was a concern:

“While his extensive experience in media and communications is advantageous, his career has heavily leaned towards public relations, media consultancy, and production rather than traditional diplomatic or policy-oriented roles.

This background might lack the robust diplomatic, policy-making, and international relations experience typically expected for an ambassadorial position, where nuanced understanding of global politics and policy is crucial.”

They added that much of his experience and initiatives are deeply rooted in Maltese culture and issues specific to Malta or its immediate region. “While cultural diplomacy is valuable, there might be concerns about his adaptability and understanding of the complexities and challenges specific to Namibia.”

His participation in an International News Agency Course (Sputnik) in Moscow was also noticed, considering the broader geopolitical tensions involving Russia.

Non-resident ambassadors are Malta’s first point of contact for the particular country to which they are assigned.

According to the FATF, Namibia is subject to increased monitoring to address strategic deficiencies in countering money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. Experienced diplomats said this compounded concerns that Galea Vella Maslennikov’s appointment was risky.

                           

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9 Comments
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Anne R. key
Anne R. key
28 days ago

I am contemplating changing my name to M. Gonna Chopmadikof and subscribe to the Lejber party – as I always fancied a job in diplomacy.

Marjo
Marjo
27 days ago
Reply to  Anne R. key

Meritocracy at it’s best!

makjavel
makjavel
27 days ago

The apprenticeship at Super One is the give away. They ALL passed this way.
His family name will work wonders in Namibia. Will he sell passports for a living in Namibia. Plenty of Russians are roaming Africa .

Vanni
Vanni
27 days ago

A person with 3 surnames, I AM impressed!!

Adrian Callan
Adrian Callan
27 days ago

A LOT/ LOT of Former Positions in a relatively short space of time.
Alarm bells for I are ringing.

Adrian Callan
Adrian Callan
27 days ago

Where are all the Maltese nominations/ individuals to do this role for their Island.
Perhaps someone with 1st hand life experiences and not just ‘formers ‘ ?
Where IS Malta taking itself and moreover what does it want to be known as in future times. Fair idea where that’s leading and it’s not the Malta I came to.

carmelo borg
27 days ago

MINFLOK JAGHMLU PERSUNA TA CERTU STATURA BIEX JIRRAPREZENTA LIL PAJJIZJNA JAGHMLU MEMBRU ATTIV FIL PARTIT TAL LAJBUR

U HALLUNA FIX GIBTUH PAJJIZ
GRAZZI UKOLL LIZ ZEWG MEMBRI TA OPPOZIZJONI TA L APPOG TAGHHOM

Marjo
Marjo
27 days ago

With all due respect, if I was an employer., I would NEVER employ someone who changed his job every three months. Not worth all the paperwork and training.

Mick
Mick
26 days ago

Someone probably had to show him on an Atlas where it was. Given the large amount of corruption and money laundering here, he’s the ideal candidate to diplomatically show them how it’s done! With plenty of “experts” on call.

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