The Malta Independent 13 December 2019, Friday

Indepth: This is not a time to leave the country without a Prime Minister – Alex Muscat

INDEPTH online Wednesday, 6 November 2019, 08:32 Last update: about 9 days ago

This week's edition of Indepth discussed the ongoing drama with regard to the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation and its political fallout.

17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech was arrested last week and is still being questioned. Tuesday saw the resignation of former Minister Konrad Mizzi, the auto-suspension of Minister Chris Cardona and the resignation of the chief of staff at the OPM Keith Schembri.

The Malta Independent Deputy Editor-in-Chief Neil Camilleri interviewed lawyer and political commentator Bernard Grech in the first segment of the prgramme, and government MP Alex Muscat in the second part. The Nationalist Party did not send a representative for the debate.

 

Labour calling for calmness

Alex Muscat said that the Labour Party is appealing for calmness and clarity, and that the party has always had a sense of maturity. He said that politicians should be appealing for calmness and stability in the country. "Right now, we must maintain a sense of calm, and allow the institutions to continue their work."

He said that the past week is proof that the institutions are functioning. "If there is the possibility that politicians are involved, we have to allow the liberal institutions to continue doing their work to bring out the truth."

When asked whether Prime Minister Joseph Muscat should resign, Muscat highlighted that the country needs stability and leadership, especially at such a crucial time. "Let us remember that this is not the time for our country to be left without a Prime Minister (...) as a member of the party, I cannot come here and speculate before the investigations are concluded. The government will continue to focus on the development of the country to ensure it continues moving forward."

Apart from the number of protests taking part this week, the Labour Party is organising a political event this Sunday. When asked whether such an event will only anger people more, Muscat explained that such an event will see the Prime Minister calling for calmness and providing political direction for the population. "The Prime Minister will appeal for calmness and maturity from everyone. This will not be a message for people to turn against each other."

 

Resignation of PM and successor moves the country forward

In the first part of the interview, lawyer Bernard Grech said the PM should have taken these decisions earlier on. "I believe the Prime Minister should resign, and he should have done so earlier, and it is important that his successor ensures that the country moves forward and not backwards," adding that the country risks losing investment if it stalls.

Grech was also asked whether he agrees with the way the political parties seem to be mobilizing their people - the PL is holding an event in Fgura while the PN was organizing a national protest, which has since been postponed.

"This is not only a political fight but also a civil one. We have seen NGOs fighting against corruption, and people coming together as Maltese."

He said he hopes that even PL MPs will find the courage to attend such protest, and to encourage Labour supporters to join the fight against corruption.


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