The Malta Independent 20 August 2018, Monday

Keeping focused in the storm

Timothy Alden Sunday, 22 April 2018, 08:35 Last update: about 5 months ago

17Black. What a lot of pain and suffering the government would have avoided had the Prime Minister done the honourable thing and kicked out Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri in 2016, when Marlene Farrugia led the charge against them inside the Labour Party. Even that would not have been enough to wash away the dirt, but one can be sure it would have taken away a lot of the pressure that is mounting again today.

Instead, the spotlight is on Castille that is at the centre of an assassination investigation. How different things would be if Keith and Konrad were already out of the picture. So why did the Prime Minister not fire them? It raises yet more questions, such as whom the mysterious third person was, which takes us back to Egrant.

Either way, let us not confuse the assassination with the Panama scandal or Egrant. The truth is that the killers might not be politically connected. If civil society and the Opposition insist on the narrative that the government is responsible for the assassination, it would be a critical mistake if they are wrong. If they are wrong, it would empower the klikka in Castille, by drawing attention away from the very issues which Daphne Caruana Galizia wrote about.

Similarly, speaking of the risks of inadvertently empowering corruption and digging ourselves a deeper hole, we must be aware that in a sense, the current Labour administration is a blessing in disguise. This is because the trail of dirt they have left behind is easy to follow and they have been caught red handed. We know they are compromised.

The risk Malta is facing now is that when Joseph Muscat goes, whoever comes after may be cleaner, but it is unlikely that the checks and balances or institutional reforms we desperately need will follow. Malta needs a fresh start, not a wolf in sheep's clothing. That is why we must not lose this chance to seize the moment and follow the third party into the breach.

 

Timothy Alden is deputy leader of Partit Demokratiku
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