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[WATCH] Busuttil calls for Muscat's resignation, calls for national protest

Simon Busuttil: 'Malta is in an unprecedented political and constitutional crisis and Joseph Muscat should resign immediately' 

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
21 April 2017, 11:09am
Busuttil told a press conference that Malta is in an unprecedented political and constitutional crisis. Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Busuttil told a press conference that Malta is in an unprecedented political and constitutional crisis. Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Simon Busuttil announces national protest, demands Joseph Muscat's resignation
The Nationalist Party will on Sunday afternoon organise a national protest in Valletta to demand the resignation of Joseph Muscat in light of serious allegations that his wife owns an offshore Panama company.

Flanked by PN MPs and candidates at a press conference at Dar Centrali, Busuttil said that Malta is in an unprecedented political and constitutional crisis, and that the public feels betrayed and worried about the country’s future.

He said that Muscat should have resigned immediately after announcing a magisterial inquiry to investigate the case.

“Malta cannot have a Prime Minister who is under a magisterial inquiry and he should have resigned to clear his name. I urge MPs to remove him as Prime Minister.”

Busuttil cited a NET News report last night, in which Pilatus Bank’s chairman Seyed Ali Sadr Hasheminejad and its risk manager Antonella Gauci were caught leaving the bank’s Ta’ Xbiex offices at the dead of night carrying two large suitcases.

He lambasted police commissioner, Lawrence Cutajar for not ordering a raid of Pilatus Bank as soon as the allegations surfaced. Instead, he had gone out for a fenkata in Mgarr.

“The police commissioner’s behaviour is shocking. They gave Pilatus all the time in the world to remove any compromising evidence from their offices.”

When it was pointed out to him that Malta Independent columnist Daphne Caruana Galizia – who broke the story – has not yet published any evidence to back up her claims, Busuttil said that it was up to the police to seek evidence.

“I can assure you that the evidence isn’t in Dar Centrali, and that if I were the police commissioner I wouldn’t have gone to a fenkata last night,” he said to applause.

He warned that the country’s institutions have become paralyzed and are scared to investigate the Prime Minister.

Busuttil also said that Muscat’s lifestyle, notably "a lavish family holiday" he had taken in Dubai last year, has now taken on a new light.

“Does it make sense for a Prime Minister on a €50,000 salary to spend €11,000 for a week at a hotel?” he asked.

He reiterated his pledge that a future PN government will safeguard any whistleblower who comes forward with any information on scandals committed by the Labour government. 

Michael Briguglio, Marlene Farrugia to attend Sunday protest

Sociologist and former Alternattiva Demokratika leader Michael Briguglio confirmed that he will be attending Sunday’s protest, arguing that Malta is facing an institutional crisis and that Muscat must resign until his name is cleared.

“Malta needs a national democratic coalition to stop the malaise of corruption. Persons of goodwill, red, blue, green, orange and of no political colour should stand up to be counted,” he said in a blogpost.

The Partit Demokratiku, which plans to contest the next election under the PN ticket, also confirmed that it will be attended the protest.

Its leader Marlene Farrugia urged Labour voters to “wake up” and realize that their party and country has been gripped by a group of traitors.

“The Labour Party had given a voice to workers, and it doesn’t deserve to go down in history for corruption,” she said on Facebook.

She also urged Muscat to step down as Prime Minister pending the magisterial inquiry, with deputy PM Louis Grech or finance minister Edward Scicluna taking over in his stead, or to call a general election.  

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono is a journalist at MaltaToday
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