The Malta Independent 17 May 2022, Tuesday

Speeches like Bedingfield’s are the precursor to totalitarianism, Repubblika says

Wednesday, 26 January 2022, 11:19 Last update: about 5 months ago

The NGO Repubblika has compared a speech by PL Whip Glenn Bedingfield to other speeches which served as a precursor to dictatorships or totalitarianism.

Prime Minister Robert Abela must clearly declare whether his government is in favour of democracy, liberty, and rule of law, the NGO said.

Repubblika said that it considers that the Prime Minister must be clear on this point after the “harsh attack” by PL whip Glenn Bedingfield against the country’s institutions, including the Ombudsman, Standards Commissioner, judiciary, independent media, and civil society.

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Bedingfield lashed out at the courts and the police over the search of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's home, and also took aim at other institutions within the country in a speech in Parliament on Tuesday.

“It cannot be that in a democratic society and a member state of the European Union, the head of the government remains quiet when its own MPs – its Whip – attacks these institutions and accuses them of being an “establishment” working in a coordinated manner only to cause damage,” the NGO said.

“Glenn Bedingfield’s speech reminds us of other speeches which were made in other parliaments when the state had started the road towards totalitarianism and a dictatorship.  Anti-democratic action always started with speeches which were left unanswered,” they added.

Repubblika also reminded of what happened recently with Donald Trump and America’s “deep state”, where his speeches subsequently resulted in a violent threat to American democracy.

Repubblika thanked those institutions who are doing their duty and said that they had the NGO’s support.

The Prime Minister, the NGO said, needs to be clear on whether he wants a state where the institutions can do their duty, including being a tool for checks and balances, or whether they will serve as a rubber-stamp for abuse.

 

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