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Updated | Muscat asks for rescheduling of university leaders’ debate

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat says he cannot attend scheduled university leaders' debate on Tuesday as it clashes with a visit to Malta by the President of Ukraine

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
11 May 2017, 5:18pm
Last updated on 11 May 2017, 7:30pm
Joseph Muscat has not confirmed his attendance to next week leaders' debate at the university
Joseph Muscat has not confirmed his attendance to next week leaders' debate at the university
This year’s traditional election leaders’ debate at the University is in doubt after Prime Minister and Labour leader Joseph Muscat told its organisers that he will be unable to attend on the scheduled day.

The debate has been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at Sir Temi Zammit Hall, and the student organisations who are organising it – namely The Third Eye and the University of Malta Debating Union – have confirmed that only three leaders have accepted the invitation, that was sent out on Tuesday.

PN leader Simon Busuttil, Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Arnold Cassola and Partit Demokratiku leader Marlene Farrugia confirmed with MaltaToday that they will be attending the debate.

However, a spokesperson for Muscat told MaltaToday that the Labour leader will be unable to attend on the scheduled day because it clashes with a state visit to Malta by the President of Ukraine.

“He has no problem debating the three leaders, but he cannot make it on the day. We’ve met the University of Malta Debating Union to try and reschedule the debate but they told us that they can only hold it on that date and time.”

Muscat has already turned down Marlene Farrugia’s invitation for a debate in Zurrieq, arguing that he will only engage in a one-on-one debate with the leader of the Opposition.

“If they decide that Marlene Farrugia is now the Opposition leader, then I will have no problem debating her,” he said on Dissett last week.

Farrugia lambasted Muscat as a coward and questioned whether he respects political parties more than the Maltese public.

“Simon Busuttil and myself are not only leaders of our respective parties, but of a national force that wants to see Malta once again take the route of decency, dignity and good governance.”