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Updated | Debono toys with resignation motion against minister, ‘PN decision was unacceptable’

After PN executive reconfirms election ban for wayward MP, Debono hits back with no-confidence motion.

Matthew Vella
4 September 2012, 12:00am
Back with a vengeance: Franco Debono could file a no-confidence motion against another PN minister.
Nationalist MP Franco Debono is toying with a threat to file a motion of no-confidence against health minister Joe Cassar, after the PN's executive yesterday confirmed an election ban on the MP.

Debono yesterday was told by the PN executive he would not be allowed to contest on the PN ticket after having been banned back in July 2012 for having voted with the Opposition in a motion for the resignation of home affairs minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici.

Debono's motion, whose text he posted on his personal blog, comes just a week after having filed a motion against his own government's energy policy, by calling on the House to demand that the Delimara power station ceases the use of heavy fuel oil from powering its new turbines.

"According to the doctrine of individual responsibility, and the prime minister's repeated declaration that everybody has to face the consequences of his actions, this House resolves that it has no faith in Minister Joseph Cassar who has to be censured for these shortcomings and must therefore resign," Debono's motion reads.

In comments to MaltaToday, Debono insisted that it was shocking that the party did not accede to his request to have an independent tribunal hear his submissions as to whether the executive's ban on his candidature was justified or not. "I told the executive I was ready to answer before a tribunal of a certain degree of independence and impartiality, that is, composed of members unrelated or independent of the party. I told the executive: 'what are you scared of?'

"How can I be judged by people like the Prime Minister, who has his minister's interests at heart, or people like Carm Mifsud Bonnici influencing such a decision when I had voted in favour of the no-confidence motion against him, or people from the fifth district like Mario Galea? This country has just experienced the most shocking way a party could judge its own member."

When faced with the statement by Lawrence Gonzi that his vote on the Mifsud Bonnici had been "politically unacceptable", Debono replied that what was unacceptable was the fact that political parties in Malta behaved "as if they are above the law."

"They are not. I have every right to be heard. The party executive's 'hearing' is not its prerogative. What's unacceptable is that I have not been judged by an independent tribunal."

Debono would not answer questions about his political future, hinting that he is still biding his time: only yesterday he posted a blog in which he floated rumours of a new political party that would be made up of disguntled Nationalists, and later today he posted the text of a motion against health minister Joe Cassar he might consider filing.

Debono's draft motion makes specific reference to several shortcomings in the health department, which comes hot on the heels of accusations by former oncology chief Stephen Brincat who claimed two patients had died from chemotherapy toxicity in Gozo.

He also does not make any secret of his personal ordeal at the hands of the party.

"Since the Prime Minister repeatedly declared at every occasion that everybody has to face the consequences of their actions, and having passed me through martyrdom simply for dissenting from the Whip's orders [on the Carm Mifsud Bonnici motion]...

"Owing to the preoccupation of medical professionals towards the leadership of health minister Joe Cassar, and the public's general ire at the lack of beds in the hospital, problems in the emergency department and waiting lists... which are politically unacceptable...

"This parliament is supreme and has not just the right, but the obligation to scrutinise ministers' operations... ministers must be accountable to this House and face the consequences of their actions included mismanagement that is politically unacceptable."

Debono's motion also calls for the censure of Cassar over the recent selection process for medical consultants, the state of hospital ambulances, and the recent allegations of two deaths from chemo-toxicity made by former oncology chief Stephen Brincat.

Matthew Vella is editor of MaltaToday.com.mt.

After graduating in a...
Aristide Galea
Sur Fenea , jekk skont il-Prim Ministru , Dr.Franco Debono kien avzat li jekk jivvota kontra kien se jbati il-konsegwenzi , allura dejjem skont il-Prim Ministru anke hu (il-Prim Ministru )għandu jbati il-konsegwenzi talli ivvota kontra dak li kien qallu il-poplu fir-referendum dwar il-liġi tad-devorzju . Dak li jgħodd għall wieħed jgħodd għall ieħor ukoll . Mhux hekk Sur Fenea ?
Aristide Galea
Fenea , ma taħsibx li l-istess argument jista jiġi attwat anke fil-konfront ta' Dr. Lawrence Gonzi meta Dr.Gonzi ivvota kontra ir-rieda tal-elettorat espressa fir-rizultat fir-referendum dwar l-introduzzjoni tal-liġi tad-devorzju ? Dr.Gonzi wkoll mar kontra dak li qallu il-poplu , mela issa jkollu jbati il-konsegwenzi huwa wkoll . Mhux hekk , Sur Finea ? Jeww inthom bħas-soltu , tistgħu tagħmlu kollox u li tridu u haddieħor ikollu jbaxxi rasu għall dak li tiddettaw inthom ?
louis fenech
franco il prim ministru avzak min qabel li jekk tivvota kontra kont se tbati il konsegwenzi. issa kif qed tippretendi li il pn ihallik tikkontesta l-elezzjoni mieghu meta inti diga qed turi li mhux qed taqbel mal leader. il vavi jamlu bhalek.
Christian Thorn
Nothing to toy about ,the decision has been taken and now Dr. franco Debono should know where he stands ...and he is not standing at all at the N.P./ GonziPM... infact they can't stand him!
Charles Mifsud
Franco Debono should realise that, for Gonzi, he is dispensable and he can therefore do without him in his district. But what can the PN do without a heavyweight like CMB in the 2nd District? It was therefore a question of who to lose, wither Franco Debono or CMB, and the choice for Gonzi was obvious, especially now that this pro-Mintoff district is aflame once more in favour of Labour.
guido cutajar
Triq wahda fadallek Dr Franco Debono...Dik ta l-irgulija....ghamel bhal ma kienu jghamlu il Gappunizi `KAMIKAZE` Mur quddiem il President tar Republika u ghejdlu li int ma ghadekx membru parlamentari fuq in naha tal gvern. Biex tohrog ta l-akbar ragel, mur issa qabel il 21 ta Settembru...halli int tkun l-uniku li tista tigelebra il veru indipendenza, ghax tkun indipendenti.
Mario Attard
For how long are you going to take the people for a RIDE, Dr Lawrence Gonzi and Dr Franco Debono. Don't you think its high time you both emigrate and hide yourselves?????? Empty vessels make most sound!
John Azzopardi
Franco, you are a big boy aren't you. You can resign if you want to. You have been threatening that you want to do this or do that for long time. Now it's up to you. The PN is ready for an election now so your threats don't mean much anymore.
Aristide Galea
Dr.Debono had no confidence in Dr.Austin Gatt , Dr.Carm Mifsud Bonnici ,Dr.Joe Cassar and also in Dr.Lawrence Gonzi himself , and Dr.Debono wanted them to shoulder their responsability . The fact in itself that Dr.Debono had no confidence practcally in half of the cabinet , is it not the time that Dr.Debono declare that he has no confidence in the whole government and force it's resignation ?
tony fava
Triq wahda baqalek Franco. Int trid is-sewwa imma Gonzidcgpn u l-klikka kull ma jimporthom huwa buthom. Ghalhekk taf x'ghandek taghmel. La dawn stmawk ta' zibel daqstant iehor ghandek taghmel int.
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