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PD leader doesn’t exclude Opposition calling national security committee on Russia allegations

PD leader Marlene Farrugia said that she has not yet discussed calling for a meeting of the national security committee with the Opposition leader, but will be doing so later

yannick_pace
Yannick Pace
24 May 2017, 1:16pm
Marlene Farrugia said that the Partit Demokratiku held a press conference in front of ‘the knot monument’ because it symbolised the confusion in the mind of people that have not yet collected their voting document
Marlene Farrugia said that the Partit Demokratiku held a press conference in front of ‘the knot monument’ because it symbolised the confusion in the mind of people that have not yet collected their voting document
Partit Demokratiku leader Marlene Farrugia, speaking about alleged Russian interference in Maltese politics, has said that the Prime Minister’s statement was very serious and that if the security services are involved, the country “should get to the bottom” of the situation.

Farrugia was addressing a press conference outside Castille where she was asked whether the Opposition will be calling a meeting of the national security committee, in light of the allegations.

“I find it very off, but worse things have happened and have been stated,” she said. “If the security services are being mentioned we should get to the bottom of this but the reasons don’t convince me.”

Given that the Opposition has the power to call for a meeting of the committee, Farrugia said she would be discussing the matter with Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil.

Farrugia said that the Partit Demokratiku had decided to hold a press conference in front of “the knot monument” in Castille Square because it symbolised the confusion in the mind of a number of people that have not yet collected their voting document.

“We are here to remind the electorate that we are in a campaign a year before an election was due because the government is tied in a knot of corruption,” Farrugia said.

She insisted that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had the choice to clean up his government and continue with his electoral programme yet he chose to defend his associates, and send the country to the polls early instead.

Farrugia said she wanted to remind the nation that PD had been set up because of a governance crisis, and because after having voted out the Nationalist Party due to bad governance among other issues, the Labour Party, had also let them down.

“We came together as a party so that we will be there on election day to give the people a real choice,” Farrugia added, adding that the “symptoms” of problems with governance had started long before the Panama Papers revelations, which she described as the “cherry on the cake.”

Farrugia said that the Panama Papers had served to cast further doubt on Projects Malta, which is headed by minister Konrad Mizzi, who was revealed to be the owner of the Panamanian company Hearnville Inc.

Asked about disagreement between her and Busuttil on spring hunting, Farrugia insisted that the Prime Minister was lying when he said that the two had different positions.

“He lied because I clearly said that despite being against hunting I accept the result of the referendum and that the coalition will ensure that hunters’ rights are respected,” she said.

Moreover, she said that as the daughter of a hunter she also felt that it was not right for all hunters to be labelled the same, and that those who insist on breaking the law should be punished.

Farrugia added that while there will inevitably be points of disagreement, she was confident that Busuttil and herself could build on points of agreement.

Responding to the observation that PD had not be seen very often so far in the campaign, Farrugia said the party was doing a lot of work on the ground and had had an input in formulating a considerable number of the PN’s proposals.

On allegations of corruption surrounding the tendering process for the BWSC power plant back in 2007, where it has been alleged that then minister George Pullicino had changed environmental laws to suit the BWSC’s bid, Farrugia said that the allegations were not new and nothing had been found to imply wrongdoing.

She said that the people would have the power to decide who to elect and who not to elect. 

yannick_pace
Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...