The Malta Independent 26 May 2024, Sunday
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Speaker calls Opposition’s actions in Parliament ‘deplorable’ for the country’s highest institution

Semira Abbas Shalan Tuesday, 14 May 2024, 16:54 Last update: about 11 days ago

Speaker Anglu Farrugia on Tuesday described the Opposition’s actions in Parliament on Monday as ‘deplorable and condemnable’ in the country’s highest institution.

The ruling came after Farrugia’s decision to turn down a PN motion for an urgent debate on Monday, which would have focused on the position of Central Bank governor Edward Scicluna and Economy Ministry Permanent Secretary Ronald Mizzi in the wake of the criminal charges they face.

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He was referring to the “disorder” which arose after pieces of paper showing €400 million cheques and €30 million euro bills emblazoned with the names and faces of Robert Abela, Joseph Muscat, Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri and others rained down onto MPs in Parliament on Monday.

Whether the papers were thrown from Parliament’s Stranger’s Gallery or from the Opposition benches was not clear from the television feed, and the session was adjourned.

Farrugia then turned to a request for a ruling made by PN MP Robert Cutajar who had raised the point that during yesterday's sitting, PL MP Alex Muscat was caught filming the session.

Farrugia made reference to several previous rulings on the use of mobile phones, cameras and devices in the chamber, and referred to regulations by the House of Commons, which emphasizes decorum, etiquette and good behaviour in the chamber.

He reiterated that it is recommended that films, photos or audio cannot be taken without permission by the Speaker or by the person being filmed. Abela referred to a previous ruling on a similar matter by ex-Deputy Speaker Censu Galea and said that Parliament is “not 71 children attending kindergarten, but 71 men and women representing the country.”

Farrugia appealed that behaviour should not just be guided by rules, but by the value of respect towards colleagues and the Maltese and Gozitan public.

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