The Malta Independent 24 January 2022, Monday

PM fails to say whether PL parliamentary group will discuss PN draft bills

Friday, 14 January 2022, 14:58 Last update: about 9 days ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela has skirted around a question on whether the Labour Parliamentary Group will be discussing the 12 draft bills presented by the Opposition last week.

He also took aim at the person who drafted the bills, PN MP Jason Azzopardi.

On Saturday, the PN presented what it described as a ‘mega bill’ to fight corruption and implement the recommendations emanating from the Daphne Caruana Galizia public inquiry. These include a proposal to set up a specialised magistrate on corruption, anti-SLAPP laws and regulations for caretaker governments.

Asked whether the PL Parliamentary Group would discuss the proposals, Abela chose instead to speak about the reforms introduced by the government over the past couple of years.

“We introduced reforms after a wide consultation process, during which we met with the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the IGM, MEPs and foreign journalists. This led to a number of bills, including on protection of journalists, and anti-SLAPP, which have been recognised internationally. We then appointed a committee of experts – an important step to continue implementing the inquiry recommendations.”
Abela said that, at the end of the day this was a question of credibility.

“When one looks at the person behind the PN draft bills … when he was minister before 2013, and even later from the Opposition benches, he behaved in a way that is anything but compatible with good governance,” Abela said in obvious reference to Jason Azzopardi.

He said the government has introduced a raft of reforms, including on the appointment of the President and members of the judiciary, on strengthening the Permanent Commission Against Corruption, added scrutiny on politicians and increased resources for inquiring magistrates.

“This government has the right credentials on good governance and we will continue to implement the recommendations of the public inquiry,” Abela said.

Earlier this week, justice minister Edward Zammit Lewis said the government would be analysing the PN's proposals. 

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