The Malta Independent 6 August 2020, Thursday

TMIS Editorial Part 1: New PM must clean house

Sunday, 8 December 2019, 11:30 Last update: about 9 months ago

We now have two contenders for the Labour leadership election – Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne and MP Robert Abela.

Whoever wins the contest on 12 January and makes it to the government and PL top spots, will have to carry out the huge task of cleaning up the party and the country.

The winner will, first and foremost have to return Malta to normality and doing this won’t be an easy or popular task.

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The new PM will need to make ruthless decisions and chop many heads. The highest levels of government and institutions have been infiltrated by individuals whose personal interests come before those of the country – people who, by their actions or inaction, have let this country slip into the abyss of corruption. They must go – all of them – and only a bold and decisive Prime Minister can do that.

The new leader will need to do what Sant did in 1992 – carry out a massive clean-up of the Labour party and remove anyone with the slightest shred of doubt hanging over their head.

On Friday, when Fearne was the only one to have thrown his name in the hat, several MPs backed him publicly. These included people from the Muscat-Schembri cabal, like Konrad Mizzi, who has been disgraced many times over.

Some argued that Mizzi was doing this to save his own skin, possibly because he is harbouring future political ambitions. Others said this might be a coordinated manoeuvre to link the rotten part of this administration to Fearne, thus harming his image before the leadership race. Many have already commented, in fact, that if Fearne has the backing of the likes of Mizzi, then he does not have theirs.

One will have to see what these MPs will do and say now that Abela is also in the running to become the next leader. Many are pointing out the fact that he serves as legal advisor to the Cabinet, and also to the fact that he was Neville Gafa’s (of Libyan medical visas scandal fame) lawyer.

Whatever the case, the country expects its new leader to take decisive action and bring to justice all those deserving of it. Konrad Mizzi, for example, still has a lot to answer for over the scandalous hospitals privatization deal. We cannot just let this go.

There are others who, in our opinion, cannot remain part of the administration. People like Chris Cardona, for example, who, despite having recently been reinstated as economy minister, will forever remain tainted by the FKK Acapulco debacle.

There are other names, like Sandro Craus, the head of the OPM’s customer care department, who should not be allowed to remain after he was outed as the one who gave middleman Melvin Theuma the infamous phantom government job.

And this is not just about bringing out the proverbial guillotine. The entire mentality of clientelism, corruption and defending the indefensible must change.

It must be a clean sweep. The country deserves nothing less.

Part 2

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