Labour leader Joseph Muscat
Labour leader Joseph Muscat refused to commit himself on whether he intends to table a motion of no-confidence in the government in light of the current political turmoil surrounding the Nationalist Party.
Muscat was speaking yesterday in the first half of a two-part interview with MediaToday managing editor Saviour Balzan on Favourite Channel. The second part of the interview will be aired tonight at 7:45pm.
Asked whether he intends to call for Parliament to re-convene and take a vote of no-confidence Muscat said "I will wait till Tuesday's meeting, hoping that the Prime Minister will take some kind of conclusive decision and I will take it from there."
He said Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi has lost control of the situation and this evening's PN Executive meeting represents one of Gonzi's last chances to restore stability.
Muscat said the current situation demonstrates the "meltdown of GonziPN" and described the situation as "unsustainable" with the Prime Minister unwilling to take the obvious decision.
He said Gonzi must take decisive action "not to save his party, or better his clique, but to stop wasting the country's time."
He added that back in November the Opposition had warned that the government's Parliamentary majority was faulty. He added that after the January vote of confidence in which the government only survived thanks to the Speaker's casting vote, Labour cautioned the Prime Minister that things would deteriorate further if no action was taken.
"After shrugging off our warnings as rhetoric, today six months later the Prime Minister finds himself with not one, but at least three MPs with whom he has problems, and I believe there are more," Muscat said.
The Opposition leader added that if Gonzi does not take the necessary action things will get worse and said that the country's public administration has already come to a standstill.
Without qualifying what action the Prime Minister should take, Muscat said that Gonzi should not keep the whole country guessing until Parliament reconvenes in October.
Asked to react to accusations of power hunger leveled at him, Muscat said "if anyone has a thirst for power it is the Prime Minister who does not want to let go of his seat."
Muscat said he was simply doing his job as leader of the Opposition while "the government is doing a very good job in tripping itself up."
He said this is down to the mismanagement of Parliament and government by GonziPN.
On the Cachia Caruana saga, Muscat said that the issue was not created last week but "it all started when Cachia Caruana took over the role as the real leader of the Nationalist Party, without being visible or accountable to anyone, he decides who the leader of the party is, who the ministers are, what will be of certain persons and makes use of the country's system without any democratic accountability at his own whim.
He added that as soon as this parallel governance system was created it was doomed to fall and "we are now witnessing the demise of an empire which lasted a quarter of a century