The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
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Government files motion for anti-deadlock mechanism to appoint Standards Commissioner

Wednesday, 23 November 2022, 18:01 Last update: about 6 days ago

Government has presented the motion of the first reading of the Bill amending the Act on Standards in Public Life.

Earlier this week in parliament, Prime Minister Robert Abela said that the government's wish is that the position of the Commissioner for the Protection of Standards in Public Life be filled with the approval of two thirds of the House of Parliament, the government said.

The government said that the Prime Minister had put forward nominations of people who "have the ability and integrity" to fill the positions of Standards Commissioner, as well as the position of Ombudsman.

The Prime Minister had proposed that Judge Joseph Zammit McKeon take up the post of Ombudsman - a proposal which the PN is backing, and that Chief Justice emeritus Joe Azzopardi to be nominated to the post of Standards Commissioner, which the PN does not seem to be agreeing with.

"The amendment that government will be presenting aims to create a mechanism in case the two sides of the chamber continue to disagree on a name that obtains a two-thirds majority, after two votes which are taken seven days apart," the government said.

This is an 'anti-deadlock' mechanism that in the past was proposed by the Venice Commission, and by the Opposition for important positions, it said.

Government said that it believes that in the present circumstances, common sense should lead to not using this mechanism.

The Opposition can freely vote in favour of this nomination as originally agreed upon with Abela, the government said.


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