The Malta Independent 25 June 2024, Tuesday
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Franco Debono echoes President’s call, says no more time should be wasted on constitutional reform

Neil Camilleri Saturday, 4 April 2015, 15:46 Last update: about 10 years ago

Law Commissioner and Head of the Constitutional Convention Franco Debono has joined the President in calling for progress to be made on the long awaited constitutional reform.

Speaking to The Malta Independent this afternoon, Dr Debono said a golden opportunity to launch the reform had been missed last year – when Malta was celebrating the anniversaries of a number of constitutional events – and no more time should be wasted.

Dr Debono said he had spoken to President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat several times on the subject and on the need for all involved parties to get things moving.

Simply put, the next step is for the government and Opposition to agree on the way forward but Dr Debono thinks that not enough effort is being made for such an agreement to be reached.

The lawyer said he has been stressing on the need for a constitutional reform since 2010, when he was still a Nationalist MP. At the time he had spoken on the need for important political reforms. The time had come, he had said, for a constitution for European Malta. He also called for a stronger, and more autonomous Parliament and for Presidents of the Republic to be appointed with a two thirds majority. He had also proposed an educational campaign with the aim of educating people about the constitution.

When, some months ago, he saw that things were moving slowly, Dr Debono decided to push ahead and set up a committee with the aim of informing people about the constitution. “The aim of the committee is to increase awareness about the constitution as a symbol of national unity. It would be useless to include the public in the reform if people are not familiar with the constitution.”

The working group, which is chaired by Dr Debono, includes Prof. Olivier Friggieri, Prof. Saviour Chircop, Dr Austin Bencini, Dr Carmen Sammut, Dr Aaron Mifsud Bonnici, Dr Andrew Azzopardi, Dr Veronique Dalli and Trevor Zahra. The meetings are being held at the Auberge de Castille.

It has commissioned a survey to see what people know about the constitution and what interests them the most. It is also planning to launch a website and publications for children in different age groups.




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