The Malta Independent 20 March 2018, Tuesday

Speaker says Marlene Farrugia gbejna comment amounts to ‘gross misconduct’, but no steps taken

Wednesday, 7 March 2018, 16:28 Last update: about 13 days ago

Speaker of the House Anglu Farrugia declared today, after re-reading the transcript regarding PD MP Marlene Farrugia’s now famous gbejna comment, and her refusal to withdraw it, that such a decision automatically amounts to gross misconduct.

On Monday evening, PD MP Marlene Farrugia labelled parliamentary secretary Clint Camilleri as a “gbejna” during a parliamentary committee meeting which was discussing the expansion of the Bulebel industrial estate.

Speaker Anglu Farrugia in Parliament said today that he had re-read the transcript, and said that he still held that Farrugia should withdraw the comment.

Farrugia said she was not ready to withdraw the comment. As such, the Speaker said, he had to move according to Parliamentary procedure. He said that automatically, her not abiding by the ruling amounts to gross misconduct. “The last time this happened," he said, "was in the 70s.”

Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, however, wanted to end the situation here and said that from the government’s side, and after discussing the situation with Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Clint Camilleri, that “with a sense of maturity we would like Parliament to stop this issue here. I understand the importance of your ruling, but I think government is showing maturity asking you to stop the situation here, and asked for no further action be taken.”

Clint Camilleri confirmed Fearne's statement, but said that the comment by Farrugia showed contempt for Gozitans.

The Speaker agreed not to take further action.

Intervening, Marlene Farrugia said that when Clint Camilleri mentioned her and a clarinet "was that insulting to all who used the clarinet?” She said that her comment was not against Gozitans. She said that people who “pass a comment saying nigi ghalik u nifqak are given a Gieh ir-Repubblika, and whoever calls the Parliamentary Secretary a gbejna…” At this point the Speaker cut off her microphone, and also threatened to dismiss her from the hall.

Shortly afterwards, PN MP Simon Busuttil said he was insulted many a time in Parliament, and so was the Prime Minister, adding that the Speaker never delivered a ruling like that of today, and said that justice must be given in the same way for everyone all the time. The Speaker said he has given similar rulings and was ready to give the MP a full list.


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