The Malta Independent 16 December 2019, Monday

Healing process needed - Chamber; PM must resign at once – Aditus

Tuesday, 26 November 2019, 13:48 Last update: about 19 days ago

The judicial process requires time and space to take its course, but political decisions need to be taken with urgency, the Chamber of Commerce said.

The Chamber said it has been watching recent developments in the investigation of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and exercising prudence in the hope that everyone, including those who are being implicated, exercises prudence and acts in the best interest of the country, even if at such a late stage.

The negative repercussions of the whole chain of events leading up to the ongoing investigation are huge and far-reaching. Reputational damage started with the Panama Papers and went unchecked for years in spite of repeated calls to take bold decisions. It has now reached unprecedented heights, and may continue to do so until justice is served.

The current investigation is a painful process that will hopefully bring to justice all those who have played a part in this gruesome murder. But it is also bringing to the fore the extent to which criminal activity had infiltrated the circles of power, and operated unperturbed for years.

The country needs a major clean up, that will have immediate repercussions on economic activity. We cannot continue running away from this because the problems we have will not go away. On the contrary, they will grow bigger, to the detriment of the genuine entrepreneur, of which there are many, and Maltese society at large, that needs to come to terms with its predicament and free itself from the shackles of polarised politics.

As representatives of the business community, we disassociate ourselves from all those who use business as a shield for criminal activity. This does a great disservice to the country and irreparable damage to the business community. We remain advocates of ethical business and hope that the forces of law and order will be empowered to investigate and take legal action against all forms of criminal activity that tarnishes our reputation. We also hope that politicians will safeguard ethical business and adopt a no tolerance approach to impropriety in future.

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The nation can only start healing with the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Aditus Foundation said today.

Recent developments in investigations related to the brutal assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia have shocked the nation and the international community, throwing also doubts on the integrity of the Office of the Prime Minister .

We strongly reiterate comments made in our statement of 19 May 2017: “The nation deserves better, and more, from Government and Parliament1, we commented that “Malta’s governance institutions are largely failing to fulfil their roles of preventing and addressing abuses of political and administrative power. It is shameful that the entities entrusted by the nation to ensure justice, fairness, efficiency and democratic process – the public service, the judiciary, administrative tribunals, the police and armed forces, and state agencies – are consistently used as extensions of political party clubs or recruitment agencies.” We noted a “severe lowering of democratic expectations, where glittering and at times irresponsible electoral promises replace long-term commitments that aim to better the entire nation for the common good.” 

The statement of more than two years ago reverberates loudly today, following a long string of institutional failures directly connected to the Prime Minister.

It is time for the entire nation to reclaim Malta’s democratic values. To insist that fundamental human rights, rule of law and good governance are repositioned at the heart of Government. To embark on a healing process that will require a revision of our Constitution, a challenging of the omnipotence of political parties and a strengthening of those institutions mandated to respect, protect and fulfil our fundamental human rights.

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