The Malta Independent 15 November 2018, Thursday

Simon Busuttil announces that he will contest 11th and 12th Districts

Julian Bonnici Wednesday, 3 May 2017, 22:00 Last update: about 3 years ago

Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil this evening announced that he will be contesting the 11th and 12th districts in the upcoming general election which will take place on 3 June.

Interviewed on Dissett, he said the PN welcomed the snap general election but insisted that it would not address the current situation.

“There is a black cloud of corruption hanging over Joseph Muscat’s, Keith Schembri’s, and Konrad Mizzi’s heads. The situation warranted the resignation of the PM, and his place is not in politics. Both things had to happen; If he wins the problem of corruption will remain.”

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He maintained that the PM should have waited until the inquiry before calling an election because, as he put it, “I have provided evidence that Keith Schembri was taking kickbacks from the citizenship scheme, when the magisterial inquiry finds him guilty of the claims, both men will have to leave”

He later expressed his certainty that he would win the upcoming election “for Malta.”

Dr Busuttil conceded that he did begin his tenure as Opposition Leader behind by a large margin and does remain behind Muscat in approval ratings.

“I came back from 12% to 4%. I did not lose my faith then that we will win, and I will not lose it now. The way I see it is that this is my second mission in politics, the first being EU membership in 2004, and the second to clean up politics once and for all, and create a system where everyone is accountable, including myself, what Joseph Muscat is doing today will never be allowed to happen again.”

He pledged that he would resign should he fail to clean-up the Maltese political system if elected.

Should he get elected, the PN Leader said that he would order a “serious independent investigation into the allegations surrounding the PM, his chief of staff, and Konrad Mizzi, along with Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar."

He also said that he would launch investigations into any contract Dr Muscat, Mr Schembri, and Mr Mizzi negotiated, including VGH, the American University in Zonqor, and the sale of citizenship scheme.

With regards to VGH, in particular the Gozo General Hospital, he said that he would be returning the national health service to the Gozitan population.  

Egrant allegations

On the veracity of the allegations concerning Egrant and what it would mean should they prove to be false and the PN win the election, he said that at the very least the magistrate has the evidence concerning Keith Schembri, but went on to say that it was a whistleblower who provided the details which such specificity. 

“It is the Prime Minister who has raised these doubts and suspicions in the public. Keith Schembri had a secret Panamanian account, as did Konrad Mizzi, and the PM failed to take any action. This has been a long time coming. He closed his eyes to Gaffarena, Cafe Premier, and the Visa Scandal”

db Group

The issue surrounding db Group was also brought up for debate. Dr Busuttil said that the fact that he stood up to Silvio Debono, who was a known nationalist supporter, when he had asked for the return of his PN donations because the PN leader had spoken up against the ITS contract was clear indication that he “could not bought.”

Pressed on why the PN had not published the supposed commercial invoices, Dr Busutil said that Silvio Debono can publish the invoices if he wanted to, as the invoice is a commercial contract and they have to view db Group as a private client.

He also said that he did not have faith in the electoral commission to correctly judge the situation as “the chairman always voted in the interest of Joseph Muscat.”

With regards to the upcoming election, he said that the PN will remain vigilant on the electoral process, and he does not have complete faith in it.

“We already highlighted the cases of double voting in Identity Malta” he said.

However, he did not go so far to say that he would not accept the electoral result.

AD Coalition

On AD’s claims that Dr Busuttil put himself above the party for power in not accepting their coalition offer, he insisted that this election was much bigger than himself.

“Joseph Muscat may like the spotlight on him and speak better than me, but  I have something he does not have, integrity and honesty. This is not Simon Busuttil versus Joseph Muscat, it is not even PN against Labour. There is so much anger with the PL about the situation; this is why it is the country against three people.

Marlene Farrugia

On Marlene Farrugia and whether or not she represented a massive gamble for Dr Busuttil, he said that he believed the contrary that she was a woman of courage and principle who left the power and opportunities she had within the PL because she did not want to be associated with the dirt, like former PL Whip Godfrey Farrugia.

“She will be able to keep me accountable. In order to work to absolute transparency, I need to have the highest control over me”

Sandro Chetcuti

With regards to Sandro Chetcuti’s claim that he was offered a place on the ticket of both the PN and PL, the PN Leader said that he had merely spoken with Mr Chetcuti in order to build bridges with the MDA.

“I told him that under a Nationalist Government, contractors who construct sustainable projects will be incentivised to regenerate dilapidated residential zones and infrastructure. Joseph Muscat will be finished before his only infrastructural project, the Kappara junction”

He went to say that he wants a government were all stakeholders can discuss an issue and find a solution which benefits everyone, much like it did with the recent minimum wage agreement. 

 

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