The Malta Independent 17 November 2018, Saturday

After Showing off his Form II records: Franco Debono fails to produce University academic records

Malta Independent Tuesday, 10 January 2012, 00:00 Last update: about 5 years ago

Nationalist backbencher Franco Debono, who has declared he will no longer support the current government and that he will support anyone but Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, admitted yesterday that he didn’t attend many University lectures because he didn’t really like the University system, but insisted that he never failed any exams.

Over this past weekend, many mocked Dr Debono for having presented his St Aloysius College Form 2 result to the national television station on Friday, which he had justified by saying it was to show that he always took matters seriously.

Yesterday, when asked about his performance at University and whether he had failed any exams, the criminal lawyer said he had not. However, when asked whether he could produce his University transcript (academic record), he said he didn’t know where it was.

“The Form 2 result is one of the few that are still at hand,” he said. As for his attendance of lectures, he said: “No, I didn’t attend many lectures, as did many other students. I didn’t really like the University system. I did very well in my first year, when we covered topics that I was interested in, such as constitutional and criminal law. But I wasn’t particularly interested in commercial law, for instance.

“The law course should be designed in a different way. In the first three years of the course students should focus on general aspects of the law, while the last three years should be aimed at giving students the opportunity to specialise.”

Dr Debono also mentioned his ‘O’ and ‘A’ level results, saying that he was always a top student, and because he did his ‘A’ levels in the first year of sixth form, he said he didn’t need to do the second year.

Going on to talk about the government’s current situation, he said he has long been making sacrifices and suffering due to a lack of democracy.

Likening the situation to ‘the divine rights of kings’, Dr Debono said the prime minister had ignored advice with respect to ministers who have failed to deliver, such as Transport, Infrastructure and Communications Minister Austin Gatt.

On Saturday, Dr Debono said the only way out of this present mess is for the prime minister to step down. Dr Lawrence Gonzi, he said, should have been firmer with the ministers who failed in their duties. The only other way out of the current impasse, he said, is an election.

He also affirmed that he would vote against the present government if there was a vote of confidence, but categorically stated that he would never run on the Labour ticket.

When asked to react to the fact that the prime minister held a party meeting at Marsaxlokk on Sunday, which is in his constituency, and the numerous calls on Facebook for people to show moral support to the prime minister, Dr Debono, in an almost sarcastic tone, said he hoped the Prime Minister would go to Marsaxlokk to tell residents that the power station will not be run on heavy fuel oil.

Dr Debono had argued in Parliament that the power station should not run on heavy fuel oil.

Dr Debono said that Chris Said, the new Minister for Justice, Dialogue and the Family asked him for help in the reforms after he was sworn in.

“Now that he’s been chosen, he can do as he wants. If I were Chris Said, I would not have accepted this role. I’m sure he’s going to do his job well but I’m certainly not going to hang around holding his hand like a little child.”

Asked whether he wanted Dr Gonzi’s place, Dr Debono replied: “No”.

He said Dr Gonzi’s declarations on Xarabank to an elected MP who was telling him he was not ready to continue supporting him were “irresponsible and disrespectful”.

“I joined the Nationalist Party to fight for the fundamental rights of the citizen. This is not the same party I joined.”

Meanwhile, the Office of the Prime Minister issued a statement, saying that during yesterday morning’s meeting, the Cabinet had discussed the position taken by Dr Debono “after not having been appointed minister” in Friday’s reshuffle.

The Cabinet noted that the prime minister will be calling a meeting of the PN parliamentary group, to be held today, and a meeting of the PN executive committee is scheduled for tomorrow.

Other subjects were discussed during the Cabinet meeting, including the ongoing negotiations for a new European treaty by means of which decisions regarding the eurozone crisis taken during the 9 December European Council meeting would be implemented.

The Cabinet also discussed the international economic situation and the action that needs to be taken for Malta’s economy to be protected as much as possible from the international turmoil.

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