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Mifsud Bonnici refuses to set date for debate on justice and home affairs

Home Affairs minister and leader of the house Carm Mifsud Bonnici once again fails to set date for debate on Opposition's motion on justice and home affairs.

Jurgen Balzan
6 March 2012, 12:00am
Home Affairs minister, Carm Mifsud Bonnici refuses to set date for parliamentary debate on justice an home affairs.
Home Affairs minister, Carm Mifsud Bonnici refuses to set date for parliamentary debate on justice an home affairs.
The parliamentary house business committee meeting was once again overshadowed by Carm Mifsud Bonnici's refusal to set a date for the discussion of the Opposition's motion on justice and home affairs.

Labour's deputy leader Anglu Farrugia reminded the committee that during the previous meeting Mifsud Bonnici who is the leader of the house, had declared that the date for the debate on the Opposition's motion will be set at a later stage.

I would like to ask the leader of the house whether he can provide a date for the discussion of the motion," Farrugia said.

Mifsud Bonnici who currently holds the home affairs ministry was also responsible for justice before the recent Cabinet reshuffle in January. In his reply Mifsud Bonnici insisted that "at the moment  a date cannot be set because the situation has not changed since the last meeting."

He added that the agenda is set according to the country's priorities and according to Mifsud Bonnici the European circumstances "demand that Parliament discusses the Greek bailout and the new fiscal measures first."  

"This does not mean that the Opposition's motion should not be discussed but it will simply be discussed at a later stage," Mifsud Bonnici said.  

On hearing this Anglu Farrugia warned that "the Opposition does not agree with the way the government is setting the agenda in parliament and will therefore take all necessary measures to manifest this disagreement."  Farrugia added that  "there is no reason to meet in the house business committee under these circumstances."  

Labour whip Joe Mizzi accused Mifsud Bonnici of hiding behind "excuses" and said that the home affairs minister, who was only appointed leader of the house in January, is "not showing any cooperation because he might be motivated by other reasons than the ones given." Mizzi repeated Farrugia's warning and said "We will take remedies to protest against the way agenda is being set

Mizzi added that during the committee meetings Mifsud Bonnici has no intention to "find consensus" but only declares his unilateral decisions. Mizzi explained that in the past few weeks the discussion on the justice and home affairs motion could be held as all MPs were present, although Mifsud Bonnici  "hid behind the excuse of having a number of MPs abroad"

"When the government is assured of unanimity in parliament, such as the motion regarding Croatia's EU adhesion, the debate is held were b ut when the government has no assurances on the vote the debate is not held," Mizzi said.

Mizzi added that the previous leader of the house, foreign minister Tonio Borg felt that the Opposition's motion was a priority as he had set a target to discuss the motion by the end of January but the new leader of the house "does not think that the motion on justice and home affairs is a priority."

The motion was presented in December by justice and home affairs shadow ministers José Herrera and Michael Falzon. The motion was presented before Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi held a Cabinet re-shuffle and split the justice ministry from home affairs on 6 January.

The separation between justice and home affairs was one of Nationalist MP Franco Debono's main concerns, which ultimately led to the Opposition's motion of no-confidence, which government survived in spite of Debono's abstention. Gonzi's reshuffle meant that the justice and home affairs portfolios held by Carm Mifsud Bonnici since 2008 were split. Mifsud Bonnici held on to home whilst Chris Said became minister of justice and social policy.

Herrera and Falzon's motion presented in December, demanded that political responsibility be assumed for 'endemic problems' in the sectors falling under the responsibility of the then Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs. Back then Franco Debono had said that he will support government. However, since the motion was presented, the ministry has been separated and Franco Debono abstained on the Opposition's no-confidence motion.

Jurgen Balzan joined MaltaToday in 2011, specialising in politics, foreig...
Raymond Mintoff
Only one reason Carmelo is simply a coward ,afraid that franco would unseat him.
Paul Dalli
Tisma' il-Leader of the House il-gdid jitkellem fuq il-website tal-parlament il-bierah waqt il-laqgha tal-House Business Committee u ghadek garanzija li titqazzez u tiddardar -- idur mal-lewza, iparla fil-vojt, jghid l-istess haga ghaxar darbiet -- u dejjem b'dak il-lehen artab, nejj u xott, bilkemm ma tahsbux li bniedem axxetiku, gej minn xi muntanja fil-gholi biex hurina l-gherf tieghu .... Tinsewx, dan il-bniedem li ftahar li kulhadd jaf kemm hu kapaci jtawwal jekk irid itawwal .... haga wahda biss ma qalx ..... li bhal gonzipn IMWERWER MINN FRANCO DEBONO .... u lest jivvinta elf skuza biex ma jressaq ebda vot fil-Parlament, aktar u aktar vot dwar it-tmexxija bazwija tieghu meta kien responsabbli mill-gustizzja u l-qrati ... u minn habs mimli drogi, tbazwir u tahwid .....
Paul Debono
In my opinion this is a pure example of conflict of interest and Dr Mifsud Bonnici should delcare it and keep out of the discussion and voting. Sooner or later it has to come up and it is better sooner than later, unless this is some sort of game to keep attached to power.
Vicki Soler
We spend more time developing means of escaping our troubles than we do solving the troubles we're trying to escape from. David Lloyd
guido agius
my comment never gets displayed whatever .. why?
Josefel Borg
Waste of time for the country to move forward. Another proof that for Gonzi power and PN come before the interests of Malta. Gonzi went at the PN executive to gain a confidence vote. After winning the race (since he was the only competitor) he still is scared to face a vote in parliament. The country suffers the tax payers pay all because Gonzi is acting like an ostrich placing his head in the sand underground giving his Prime minister role more importance than that the running of a country. Shame
Silvana Grech
From one disappointment to another-didnt figure Mifsud Bonnici would fail so spectacularly in his various roles-Pity as many of us had high hopes for him and the government. Notwithstanding all the nice words from Gonzi about becoming closer to the people, the actions of his cabinet belie this quite loudly. Come on PN, get and grip and govern-our country needs you now more then ever. Stop being a let down and take care of us all and not just your close friends- we all have a vote you know!
maria aquilina
if no date is given and gonzipn persist with its arrogance. LP should not singe the fiscal treaty, until a date is set.
guido agius
Narcy Calamatta
Din l-ghagla kollha ghalfejn...ghad fadal sena u ftit iehor sabiex inhaddmu il magni ghal dak is siggu SABIH tal POTER. Pajjiz demokratku hekk jimxi, bl`arroganza, dittatura, u kif qal sew Patri Montabello....Li ghawn min jahseb li huwa mibut mis sema u jipretendi li huwa biss ghandu id doni li imexxi.
Joseph Vella
Carm is still drawing his salary while in his slumber! What does he do actually? I know most pollies don't do much really, but this one doesn't even talk - which is, usually, their main skill!
albert leone
Ghalhekk ghamlu Leader of the House Dr. Gonzi il-Dr. Carm......ghax GHAJJIEN! Ghandu kull ragun kull ma jghid fuqu Dr. Franco Debono, imma Franco kunjomu DEBONO u mhux MIFSUD BONNICI, u tal-PN/Gonzipn il-kunjom ghandhu portata aktar mir - ragun!