Red line crossed, again. Mallia must go

Mallia crossed the red line again and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has no option but to make him go

Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia
Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia

Government has a problem and its name is Manuel Mallia.

He’s always in the press, most often for the wrong reasons. If it’s not him, then it’s about the shady characters he continues to surround himself with. Last night, his driver, a police officer with a criminal conviction, confirmed on appeal, for disobeying police orders, was involved in a shooting incident, Wild West style, whilst driving the ministerial car.

Manuel Mallia may be an exceptionally gifted criminal lawyer but as minister he’s not fit for purpose. Never was. Two years since his appointment as home affairs minister, he continues to act as if he was still a defence lawyer.

Last night, the home affairs minister crossed the red line, again. He must go, today.

If the minister thinks that by suspending his driver from ministerial escort duties, pending the outcome of a magisterial inquiry into the shooting incident in which he was involved last night, he resolved the matter then he’s only fooling himself. Mallia’s ministry misled the public when it issued a statement saying that the minister’s driver fired two warning shots in the air. Photos show bullets lodged in the Briton’s car. The evidence is there, staring him in the face. This is definitely a resignation matter.

Manuel Mallia has painted his Prime Minister into a very tight corner and Joseph Muscat has only himself to blame. The writing was on the wall.

This is not the first time that the minister has crossed the red line. He refuses to publish inquiries, concluded months ago – one of them about a decision made by former police commissioner Peter Paul Zammit not to press charges against a person who allegedly assaulted four officers at the Zabbar police station.

Genuine Labour Party supporters publicly express their frustration that Mallia has been allowed – by the Prime Minister – to turn himself into an ‘untouchable’ and that Muscat is either unwilling or unable, for reasons known only to himself, to put a stop to this. Labour party election candidates are hearing it on the doorsteps, ‘Manuel Mallia is costing us votes’. Yet, Muscat is adamant on defending his minister.

Mallia crossed the red line again and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has no option but to make him go.

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