The Malta Independent 16 May 2022, Monday

PN calls for setting up of committee to propose changes to Parliament’s Standing Orders

Sabrina Zammit Monday, 9 May 2022, 14:47 Last update: about 6 days ago

The PN has called for the setting up of a committee to put forward proposals to change Parliament’s Standing Orders. 

The announcement was made by PN Deputy Leader David Agius and PN Whip Robert Cutajar in a press conference on Monday. 

Agius highlighted that the PN wants a committee to be appointed that will identify what changes are needed, such as any related to the allocated time for speakers during a session, the kind of questions asked during a sitting, and also about the time at which Parliamentary sessions start. 

ADVERTISEMENT

These suggestions, he said, are being made with a plan in mind, to help citizens regain faith in the Maltese parliament. 

The PN representatives also said that there should be a permanent committee appointed to focus on justice, of which members should come from both parties. 

Another proposal was for the health sub-committee regarding diabetes to be restarted, as it had stopped in previous months. They said that apart from this committee, there should be another one set up for obesity. They said that these efforts will ensure that there is a more focused discussion on these matters. 

Cutajar said that apart from these changes, the PN would also like to see a better attitude during parliamentary sittings, as ministers should not be allowed to avoid answering parliamentary questions or not be present for parliamentary sittings altogether. 

Speaking about the newly established and recently introduced gender corrective mechanism, Cutajar said that since this is the “biggest cabinet Malta has ever seen in its history,” the PN is at a disadvantage. Government ministers have their own offices and staff, thus meaning they are always prepared to answer questions. He questions whether support for MPs is also needed. 

The PN wants Parliament to lead by example in the field of family friendly measures, and it proposed that a childcare service be set up inside parliament, not restricting its use to parliamentary MPs only, adding that it should also be available to police and other staff working within the institution. 

Cutajar said that unlike in the past, Ombudsman reports should also start being given priority, and through mutual agreement there should be allocated parliamentary sittings within which these reports can be discussed. 

Another point made was for the PN to be allowed to present more than two Private Members’ Bills per year, by decreasing the time period between sittings they are allowed to present them in, cutting it down to every two weeks from its current three to six months. 

Asked if the Electrogas NAO report will be back on the Public Accounts Committee agenda, Agius said that "Yes, in the coming hours the PN Parliamentary Group will announce the formation of all the Parliamentary Committees, and from there these kinds of decisions can be taken."

Asked whether an analysis of the PN’s electoral result will take place, they said that the issue was being discussed internally.

 

 

 

 

 

  • don't miss