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Like Gonzi, Farrugia is not the first unelected Speaker of the House

Opposition leader tomorrow will vote against Speaker after insisting that it should be sitting MP who is appointed to the role.

Matthew Vella
5 April 2013, 12:00am
At the Main Guard... tomorrow Anglu Farrugia walks through this entrance as Speaker of the House.
At the Main Guard... tomorrow Anglu Farrugia walks through this entrance as Speaker of the House.

Opposition leader Lawrence Gonzi will tomorrow vote against the appointment of Anglu Farrugia as Speaker, after having insisted that it should be a member of the House - and not a former MP - that should take the role of Speaker.

Since first declaring that an MP should be appointed Speaker two weeks ago, the Nationalist parliamentary group this week said that the Prime Minister's nomination of Farrugia was not carried out in consultation with the Opposition.

In contrast, Lawrence Gonzi himself was not elected to parliament in 1987 when he ran on the second and third districts, but was still appointed Speaker by Eddie Fenech Adami.

Succeeding Jimmy Farrugia as president of the House, Gonzi did not run for office in 1992 when he was reappointed Speaker in the subsequent legislature. He was successfully elected in 1996 when Labour was re-elected in government.

Two weeks ago Gonzi said on Radju Malta that the government should appoint a serving Labour MP in view of the government's nine-seat parliamentary majority: a safe majority that does not leave it dependant on a casting vote as had been the case in the last legislature.

Back in 2008, then Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi had offered the Speaker's post to the Labour Opposition despite his wafer-thin majority. Labour had declined the offer - it would have effectively widened the government's one-seat majority since the Speaker only has a casting vote.

In December 2012, Farrugia was asked to resign from his post as PL deputy leader for parliamentary affairs after a piteous performance on TV with his Nationalist counterpart Simon Busuttil. Joseph Muscat demanded he resign three days later, ostensibly over comments he passed a day earlier when suggesting that a magistrate had been politically biased in her court decisions.

Farrugia had at the time described his removal as a political assassination, and did not contest the general election.
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
Rachel Roberts
B'min irrid jithaq Gonzi u l-PN tieghu? Qisghu bhal tifel zghir li ma taghaddiex tieghu u joqghod isabbat saqajh! Anqas ma jghid , aktar ahjar ! MOVE OVER!
Another wrong decision by Gonzi. Doesn't this guy ever learn? He should now shut his trap and wrap himself in his coat on a backbench and stay quiet.
Joseph Buhagiar
Dear Gonzi,if I was a nationalist I would be strongly promoting within the same PN to have you thrown out (Simon with you) of the party and the opposition in Parliament. You may remain as independent as much as you like but surely not represent me. After all you are the cause of this disaster of the PN as you were the leader with the pair strong arms! You should be ashamed with your self and not sound your voice in public. Yes, SHAME ON YOU!
Paul Debono
can Dr Gonzi or anyone in the PN tell me when in the last 50 years the PN in government chose a parliamentry member from their ranks to act as speaker? When in government Gonzi wanted the speaker from the opposition to reduce a vote of the oppostion in parliament, now for the same reason he is in opposition and wants a governmnet member to be speaker. Machiavelli was an armature compared to Gonzi.
Ma jinbidlu qatt! Il-qawl jghid li l-hanzir li taqtalu dembu hanzir jibqa.
George Muscat
kont gdibt l-attenzjoni xi gimgha hmistax ilu. Dawn nies bla morali, bla zejt f'wicchom u bla kuxjenza. Jien ghalhekk nitbaqbaq meta nisma li Malta taghna ikoll, ghaliex kiemu veru taghna ilkoll issir Gustizzja ma dawn in-nies. mhux talli mexxew bla morali huma imma dak li ghamlu huma huwa Vangelu u dak li jaghmel hadiehor qisu ghamlu ix-xitan. Anki n-Nazzjonalisti genwini imesshom lanqas ikollhom x'jaqsmu maghhom. Nerga nghid li jekk all inixxifli ilsieni u jitilaw huma ghada hemm jergu jaghmlu - kif ghamlu dawn l-ahhar 25 sena ghaliex dawn huma biss jezistu u hadd aktar. Hadiehor huwa insinifikanti.
A Abela
The PN is like a routed army in a disorganized retreat, shooting in the air and making noises as if to scare the victors. Pathetic. CHANGE THE GENERALS.
James Mercieca
The crushing defeat the Nationalist Party suffered in the last election has left tthem totally dazed and confused. It has also blocked their memory to the extent that they do not even remember how their now soon to be called"former" leader lawrence Gonzi was appointed Speaker. It is going to take some time for the PN to recover from this massive disaster
Oh pls wake up and face reality! Our party lost, lets move on! So it was befitting for Gonzi to be appointed as speaker when not an MP and now we ourselves are voting against in an identical situation. I can't understand my own party.
What is good for the Goose is good for the gander. But Lawrence Gonzi is too conceited to accept that what was good for him is also good for Anglu Farrugia. With GONZIPN it has always been a history of deceipt of the Maltese People and it seems that they have not learnt their lesson - please continue like this to relegate the PN to oblivion. The AD should replace the PN in opposition. They are much more serious.
Lennex Brincat
Tajba din mela dawn ta' gonzipn hasbu li ghadhom fil-gvern ? Li hu tajjeb ghalihom hu velenu ghal haddiehor. Hekk kienu jirragunaw, ghadhom u jibqghu hekk, Nahseb li dik it-tkaxkira tant hawdithom li ghadhom lanqas gew f'sensihom. U dawn se jibqghu mhawdin hekk sa l-ahhar tas-seklu.
Smajt li l-Partit laburista ghandu problema kbira biex isib il-maggoranza fil-Parlament. Kemm jinsa malajr Dr Gonzi, nesgha Dr Gonzi li mexxa Gvern b'minoranza fil-Parlament ghal sena shiha, Nesgha Dr Gonzi b'wiehed mill-iktar nies arroganti li qatt deher f'wicc id-dinja jghid li b'maggoranza ta'hamsa jistgha ma jmurx il-Parlament, nesgha Dr Gonzi meta b'nofs siggu fil-Parlament qal li sejjer jivvotta bil-qalb kontra l-poplu. Jekk Dr Gonzi jinsa il-poplu ftakar u ghalhek tah it-tkaxkira li tah. Dr Gonzi ghadu jahseb li jista jiddetta, f'pajjizi ohra politici li jgarrbu it-telfa li garrab Gonzi l-anqas jidhru fil-pubbliku iktar.