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Why Debono is history and the PM’s contest a farce

Franco Debono’s decision not to come clean and state how he voted when we know he voted against, is probably a clear case of someone who wishes to have the best of both worlds.

Saviour Balzan
27 February 2012, 12:00am
That Franco Debono has not declared that he voted for the Prime Minister means that he obviously voted against or abstained.
The Franco Debono factor led the Prime Minister to do the unthinkable: a Mubarak-styled contest that surely must be seen for what it is just wonder what the equivalent of Franco Debono would be in the teenage lexicon. 

There is a perfect word for the timewaster that Franco Debono has proved himself to be. A c***teaser, especially after having carefully interpreted his cryptic comment that shows he did not have the gall to state in very simple Maltese that he voted against.

He has said he had resigned from the PN but then collected his vote. If that does stand out as farcical, what would?

So instead of saying how he voted he plunged into this unbelievably cryptic argument which went like this: "You should look at the law on political parties and party financing for which I have campaigned, drafted and presented in parliament to see how a political party in a modern European State should conduct its business."

Franco Debono really thinks that at this point we are genuinely worried about party financing. I happen to agree, but is this really the moment to talk about party financing?

As I told Debono in one of those endless telephone conversations, it was like asking a nervous soldier under incessant fire from a machine gun post if he preferred vegetable or meat lasagne and whether for dessert, he would go for a cassatella or Crème brûlée and after perhaps an Amaro!

Now what was said off the record by Debono would make for interesting reading, but the truth is that   Debono's decision not to come clean and state how he voted when we know he voted against, is probably a clear case of someone who wishes to have the best of both worlds. 

He is dreading the time when the news and the focus will move away from him. Well, you can take it from me that Debono is history, unless his words are translated into deeds.

In the meantime, the whole country is held to ransom and business simply cannot get going.   And yes, many of the ills in the country - no matter what is said by the GRTU and Chamber of Commerce - is caused by of the PM's mishandling of the crisis and Franco Debono's prima donna politics.

What did the PM intend to achieve by this contest?

Surely, the fact that two backbenchers did not collect their voting document and ergo, did not vote, is indeed a problem. In fact, it is more of a problem than he thinks.

Indeed, did he expect any consideration from the two backbenchers and EU commissioner who were bludgeoned and traded with insults from the hate blogger who is well known to take orders from... guess who?

Perhaps when the prime minister's personal assistant Edgar Galea Curmi figures out that criticism about his role as a public official is not equivalent or comparable to the bile and hate created by the bloggers from hell... then, and only then, will the Prime Minister appreciate that saying sorry is not enough.

It is also true that we have a Prime Minister who thinks that by saying sorry everything is sort of cleared. I guess it has very much to do with the sacrament of penance practised in the Catholic Church.

That Franco Debono has not declared that he voted for the Prime Minister means that he obviously voted against or abstained. Debono has held the nation to ransom and his party leader as well. And the party leader has put his personal interest before that of the nation.

If he really loved his party and the country, he would do the honourable thing and move aside for a new leader to take over. For that to happen he would have to resign or announce that he would resign. Instead he stayed on, making it impossible for anyone to show interest in the post.

What happened on Satruday was akin to what happened in Cairo in the time when  Mubarak attempted to give a semblance of democracy by opening up a contest with one contestant (himself) and getting over 95% of the vote. And guess what, Mubarak even voted for himself.

Surprisingly, when the PM appeared at the polling booth, no journalist asked him if he found it uncomfortable to vote for himself. That question is perfectly legitimate in London, Oslo, Paris or Berlin but not in the beautiful cement suburbs of Pieta.

On the PN sectional committees from where the 887-odd councillors representing the PN hail, we learn that most of the representatives are not elected but selected and chosen by the PM's sacred posse of sycophants. Most of them work with government agencies, have contracts with government, work in ministries or work with the office of the Prime Minister or owe their livelihood to government. Their allegiance or better still their best 'insurance' is for the PM to go on ruling. If possible, until kingdom come.

This is not about choosing the better leader for the Nationalist party but about their careers and their personal future.

The Prime Minister thinks that by having an overwhelming vote in his favour he has solved all his problems. He may have asserted the perception of authority within his party but in reality the only way he could have solved his problem is by either having Franco Debono resigning or else genuflecting in front of his leader and offering his unreserved allegiance.

None of this has been forthcoming, and this has led to this unbelievable farce which in turn has led to jubilation and celebration by PN activists. Debono has ridiculed himself and wasted everyone's time; the Prime Minister, the media, the country, the party and countless people in politics.

The Prime Minister will be remembered as a person who had no remorse in voting for himself in a one-man contest. But Franco is toast, past perfect tense. He should resign from the Nationalist Party and parliament and leave politics to those who have the sense and self-respect to follow the principles they so often preach about in their unnervingly long sermons.

Franco Debono is, in my eyes, relegated to the dustbin of history and his Prime Minister is under the false impression that he has achieved a joyful and triumphant victory.

Saviour Balzan is the founder and co-owner of MaltaToday. He has reported on Maltese poli...

gIOVANN DeMartino
Discretion is the better part of valour qeghdin jghidu l-ipokriti.
gIOVANN DeMartino
Kif jimmutaw!
gIOVANN DeMartino
Tghid Joseph Muscat lin-nazzjonalisti HEKK jghidilhom? Gejja taghkom! Ghaliex gejja tieghi? Ghax jien nazzjonalist? Ghandu ragun il-poplu jibza minnkom.
gIOVANN DeMartino
"Dalwaqt gejja tieghek Giovanni" Hajjithom KOLLHA theddid Kalamita spjega ruhek.
R Gatt
@demartino I think you just answered your own query via your last post. But I must admit I envy you. Sleep must comes so easily to you, just smell your own armpits and ... sajonara to the world.
victor zarb
Dalwaqt gejja tieghek GIOVANNI...
gIOVANN DeMartino
Ara veru VAVI intom il-lejburisti!
John Azzopardi
Of course he is history. THis is politics 101. He can never be trusted by those who supported from the PN nor by anyone else, especially labour. They thought they had him and called for the vote and he turned against them. His political career is basically finished. But I wouldn't feel too sorry for him. He still has his day job as a lawyer.
gIOVANN DeMartino
I challenge you, Kalamita. Give me concrete examples. Don't chicken out, pl.
gIOVANN DeMartino
I challenge you, Kalamita. Give me concrete examples. Don't chicken out, pl.
Basil Borg
Please let De Martino speak out; aktar ma jitkellem u ihawwar, aktar tkun ottu il-froga!
Basil Borg
Please let De Martino speak out; aktar ma jitkellem u ihawwar, aktar tkun ottu il-froga!
gIOVANN DeMartino
@ Kalamita: I think that even you are mixing up diff persons. Could it be a certain Joe Martinelli who went to Canada and not DeMartino? Most probably you are ref. to Martinelli who has now been absent for several months. I would like to know what happened to him. If he reads this, I send him my best regards.
R Gatt
@demartino, I excuse myself for my mistake but your comments led me to believe you were the same foul mounted individual who aided and abetted the PL by his comments. In that I was not mistaken and the examples are endless too. Obviously you are one of the inner core with privileges us common mortals are not privy too.
gIOVANN DeMartino
Ask those thousands who can afford a car in spite of the price of fuel; ask those thousands who can take a holiday abroad, at least once a year; ask those thousands who live luxurious apartments furnished with any thing modern science can provide; ask those thousands who spend MORE on mobile phones than on W&E bills; ask those thousands who can afford to eat out at least once a week; ask those thousands who can afford to spend 50, 75, 100 and more euros to watch a concert or something; ask those thousands who spend their nights at Paceville and at other places of entertainment; ask those thousands who can afford hunting which is very expensive; ask those thousands whose millions are deposited in local and foreign banks; ask those thousands who grab the millions of shares offered by the govt. The list is endless.
salgister
@Kalamita. You're addressing the wrong person, I'm afraid. It's not this Demartino who emigrated to Canada. Sometimes this person you're alluding to contributes to another local english newspaper. @Demartino. What prosperity? Ask those families who are not making ends meets because of the high bills in w&e. Ask those poor old people who can't make ends meet because their pension isn't lasting the whole month. Ask those young people who have just started a family and are faced with higher prices on their properties, and well-being of their families. Even your leader last Sunday admitted these things. You're either deaf and blind to the cries of the common people or else you're so well-off that for you "I'm alright F*** You Jack!"
gIOVANN DeMartino
@ Salgister: Look around you, see the prosperity and the luxury wherever you go and yes labour is haunted by its horrendous past and by the present prosperity. @Kalamita: I don't know exactly who the idiot is because he simply doesn't know what he is talking about or better still he doesn't know about whom he is talking. Poor imbecile.
R Gatt
@demartino-keep it up. It's idiots like u that ensure PN will lose the next election. So just shut up . We all know you scuttered away overseas when our beloved country needed you most. However over the past years I have had to change my erroneous opinion since all you produce is bile and I realised your departure was a blessing for the PN. So for those who still believe we can turn this around, just stop producing garbage and come up with original and intelligent comments. Hate will get us nowhere as the electorate have had enough of the scaremongering.
salgister
@Giovanni Demartino. As the present is haunting you.
gIOVANN DeMartino
That past labour leaders were undemocratic dictators is a well know fact. Not because they never allowed anyone to interfere with their leadership, but because for sixteen whole years they governed the island like real despots. Even when the majority, the absolute majority of the electorate voted them out. Dictators!!!!Imagine the Malta Football Ass., for example, could not, UNBELIEVABLE, COULD NOT CALL THEMSELVES MALTA football ass. your evil past will haunt you for eternity.
salgister
@Giovanni Demartino. But what you're deliberately omitting is because this is happening in the PN field. If it was the PL field, you would be the first one to cry out foul and how the PL leader is dictatorial and undemocratic!
gIOVANN DeMartino
EVERYONE has to agree with me because we are all human and no leader on earth would like to have a strong rival sticking around. Especially if that rival wouldn't mind playing dirty tricks.
salgister
@Giovanni Demartino. I agree with you 100%. Like what happened to John Dalli and Louis Galea.
gIOVANN DeMartino
@ SF Cachia. Since you were not born yesterday you are in a much better position that NO leader in his proper senses accept a situation where his leadership is challenged. I would do the same if I were in such a position and YOU would do the same also. When J Attard Kingswell tried to defend the workers, he was given "a promotion" and sent away. We all know what happened to anyone who challenged the leader's authority. Franco Debono's arguments could have been the most valid, but that is not the way to treat your leader.
Joe Borg
He had one shot to take Gonzi out and he wasted the opportunity. What happened - Gonzi's refusal to step down, delaying the vote of no confidence and the speaker making a big fat joke of parliament - all showed Gonzi for the corrupt dictator which he is. Debono should have known - he of all people. He traded suicide for martyrdom.
Saviour Cachia
@Giovanni Demartino I was not born yesterday, Mr. Demartino. Following Maltese politics for more than half a century, I know how the Nationalist Party sidelined those who the PN leadership deems not more fit to trust. I just remember a very gentleman Nationalist Deputy of Parliament, Dr. Mario Felice, not being elected again, because in Malta's interest he delivered a message by Dom Mintoff to the United States President. Regarding Debono only time will tell how the nationalist electorate will judge the Debono-Gonzi charade and whether Debono will survive his seat in the new Parliament.
gIOVANN DeMartino
But what DID HE DO?
Noel Cutajar
Issa qieghed titkellem hekk sur DeMartino...mela insejt il-kummenti tieghek ta' qabel fuq Mr. FRANK? Is-soltu tal-GonziGLUE - mal-ewwel nefha jduru.
gIOVANN DeMartino
@ Mr S F Cachia: "the n ationalists will never forget what he did" What did he do?
gIOVANN DeMartino
@ Mr S F Cachia: "the n ationalists will never forget what he did" What did he do?
Saviour Cachia
I have already said that Franco Debono should be ignored. He is trying to salvage his place in Parliament in another legislature, but the Nationalists will never forget what he did, no matter the merits he try to takes. About Lawrence Gonzi let him try to win all the time possible to try to avoid the Opposition benches after the next general elections, thanks to the Three Kings. Gonzi, I think will call it a day, once the Nationalists are defeated, and his successor is Simon Busuttil, though Marco DeMarco might be leaving his mark. Well done for your article Saviour..it was really a complete farce and keeping away from doom's day for Gonzi PN as far as possible. Gonzi anointed himself,if possible now it is Simon's Busuttil turn.
gIOVANN DeMartino
Saviour Balzan talking of principles...................................
Joseph Fava
Jolly good piece Saviour. Although we do not see eye to eye and a wide yawming gulf seperates our world-view of politics, I feel that I must congratulate you for exposing Franco Debono to what he really is, a has-been who is even more pathetic because he just never had been anything. With one slash you used a double-headed axe to chop off the heads of a power-hungry PM and his self-appointed Prince of Wales. Although Debono's outbursts against Gonzi's network of evil and the PM's reaction to hold on to power at any cost has destroyed everry chance in the world for the PN to make a comeback, all the same Franco's sally has served to get rid of both of them. GonziPN can hang on to his cherished premiership to the bitter end but when the time comes he too will follow Franco the Pretender to be buried under rubbish damp of History. The only way to save himself from History's verdict is for Debono to prove thatb at least he has a pair of cojones and before he burns on the political stake, he'll find the guts to bring down his enemy who is slowly but surely turning him into a fugure of fun and contempt. Kudos to Saviour for saying a spade, a spade.
ESOPE
issa lístorja ta franco debono saret (franc unata) 2012 tajba biss ghal wied incita inkixef ! jew sabulu xi weak poit u heddewh bieh? li baqa min din il-pantomima (frankunata) huwwa iz zmien li meta jasal,il-partit hu il-poplu li ha bid dghajsa,jghatuh risposta,hu la inzertajt minn marsaxlokk.what about HERMAN SCJAVONE.
freddie micallef
Prosit Sav..din kollha kummiedja,min hawn nghid lil pl sabiex ikompli jahdem ghal l-elezzjoni li imiss tigi meta tigi u ma noqodux nghidu li hawn sitwazzjoni instabbli halluwom jafgu,meta jasal il waqt il poplu mhux ser jinsa dawn il hnizrijiet.IL POPLU SUPREM SUR GONZIPN+FD.
salgister
Saviour, naqbel mieghek 100% u nghidlek ghaliex. Meta ragel wara hafna thambieq fuq l-irgulija u l-onesta, jispicca b'hafna xenati kliem ambigwu, ifisser li Dottor Debono qieghed jirtira bil-mod il-mod kull bezqa li bezaq. Filli jghajjat li jrid ir-rizenja tal-PM u tal-klikka, biex issa spicca li jrid apologija! Filli jghajjat li ma jahdemx taht il-PM attwali, filli jilqa' b'idejn miftuha l-proposti li l-PM dendel bhala karrotta nhar il-Hadd li ghadda. Bhal bierah stess, filli fuq stazzjon tat-TV jghid haga (u naturalment jitkellem b'mod ambigwu halli hadd ma jinterpretah sew) u fil-Parlament jghid ohra. Irgiel bhal dawn (jekk tista ssejhilhom irgiel, u jibzghu jiehdu r-responsibilita' ta' ghemilhom, m'ghandniex bzonnhom fil-politika Maltija! Ghandna bzonn irgiel ta' fibra li kapaci li jerfghu r-responsibitajiet taghhom. Naturalment minn dawn ftit hafna ssib. Iva Saviour, you're quite right. Dr. Debono has become a has-been, and as ex-Treasurer Peter Darmanin said, Dr. Debono will soon be consigned to the dustbin of history. No political entity will dare to trust the likes of Dr. Debono. He is really a man of NOT HIS WORD, u dan qieghed inghidu mhux ghax astjena wara dak il-paroli kollu, imma ghax kull bezqa li bezaq qieghed jilghaqha lura!
salgister
Saviour, naqbel mieghek 100% u nghidlek ghaliex. Meta ragel wara hafna thambieq fuq l-irgulija u l-onesta, jispicca b'hafna xenati kliem ambigwu, ifisser li Dottor Debono qieghed jirtira bil-mod il-mod kull bezqa li bezaq. Filli jghajjat li jrid ir-rizenja tal-PM u tal-klikka, biex issa spicca li jrid apologija! Filli jghajjat li ma jahdemx taht il-PM attwali, filli jilqa' b'idejn miftuha l-proposti li l-PM dendel bhala karrotta nhar il-Hadd li ghadda. Bhal bierah stess, filli fuq stazzjon tat-TV jghid haga (u naturalment jitkellem b'mod ambigwu halli hadd ma jinterpretah sew) u fil-Parlament jghid ohra. Irgiel bhal dawn (jekk tista ssejhilhom irgiel, u jibzghu jiehdu r-responsibilita' ta' ghemilhom, m'ghandniex bzonnhom fil-politika Maltija! Ghandna bzonn irgiel ta' fibra li kapaci li jerfghu r-responsibitajiet taghhom. Naturalment minn dawn ftit hafna ssib. Iva Saviour, you're quite right. Dr. Debono has become a has-been, and as ex-Treasurer Peter Darmanin said, Dr. Debono will soon be consigned to the dustbin of history. No political entity will dare to trust the likes of Dr. Debono. He is really a man of NOT HIS WORD
maria mifsud
Your article makes a lot of sense due to the fact that the country is at a stanstill because our dear PM is doing his utmost not to face any votes in parlament. It's clear for everyone to see. To Franco Debono: Dont't start what you can't finish. Most people came to the same conclusion that you either obstained or voted against in last saturday's vote. PUT UP OR SHUT UP.
JOSEPH AGIUS
Since neither Dr Gonzi nor Dr Debono are morons, does not that leave the possibility that the morons are those who think they are? Could there be a deeper farce behind the one we have been invited to follow these last weeks? That nothing is what it seems to be? That it could be better to lay off both the PM and Franco for some time and try to discover alternative plots and sub-plots in this drama?
godwin scerri
Franco debono you suffer from narcissistic personality disorder take my advise and go and see a psychiatrist.And please don't give this idiot Franco any publicity may be he will cure himself.
Renzo Xerri
PROSIT SAVIOUR. ARTIKLU VERA BIS-SENS. JIEN DIGA GHIDT LI DAN FRANCO DEBONO JIKKUMIEDJA JRID ISSA. META BEDA IPARLA DEHER LI KELLU RAGUN IMMA ISSA JIDHER CAR LI MARITLU IL-PULIKARJA KOLLHA U BHAL BUZZIEQA SPICCA BLA ARJA. JAQAD FIL-VOJT BHAL ROTA TA' KAROZZA FIT-TAJN. IRID, KIF JGHIDU L-INGLIZI, HIS CAKE AND EAT IT. DAK LI QIEGHED JAGHMEL ISSA MA JAGHMEL L-EBDA SENS U MHUX DEHEN NIES TA' L-AFFARI TAGHHOM. AKTAR MA JIPROVA JKUN AMBIGWU, AKTAR QIEGHED JIDFEN LILU INNIFSU FL-ABBISS BLA QIEGH. META XI HADD JIBDA XI HAGA LI MA JKUNX KAPACI JIKKONKLUDIHA, ALLURA JKUN AHJAR GHALIH LI MA JKUN TWIELED QATT.