Busuttil calls on government to respect Speaker’s ruling and publish contract

PN leader Simon Busuttil calls on government to respect Speaker's ruling and publish contract signed with citizenship scheme adminstrators Henley & Partners immediately

Simon Busuttil
Simon Busuttil

PN leader Simon Busuttil this evening said that he expects government to publish the contract signed with Henley & Partners, the administrators of the citizenship-for-cash programme, following the Speaker’s ruling.

This evening, Speaker of the House, Anglu Farrugia, ruled this evening that the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee had the authority to demand that the contract is tabled in Parliament despite the government’s claims that the court prohibited its publication.  

“I now expect the committee to do its job and demand that the contract is tabled in Parliament immediately,” Busuttil said in a clear call to government which has a majority in the PAC.

This evening, Farrugia gave a ruling in which he underlined Parliament’s supremacy and even if court prohibited its publication the country’s highest institution was not subject to any case being heard in court.

Interviewed by TV presenter and former PN official Frank Psaila in the Labour stronghold of Senglea, Busuttil reiterated the opposition’s call “to send a clear message to government” which he said was echoed by independent columnist

“Labour’s lead in the polls is not surprising given that only last year Labour scored a massive win but we cannot give up and we are slowly climbing the mountain,” he said, adding that while acknowledging the challenge ahead of it the PN will do its utmost to win a historic third seat.

Asked whether this election is a contest between Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and himself, as claimed by Muscat on Sunday, Busuttil said “it’s always about him, he always puts himself first together with his family and those close to him.”

“This is about electing six MEPs. Obviously the electorate will send a message and despite the disadvantage we start from, the Prime Minister’s claims that he is the underdog show that he has no sense of fairness. If both parties depart from the same starting line I’m sure we would emerge victorious.”

Busuttil challenged government to come clean on the EU’s decision to reduce Malta’s fiscal incentives for industries, adding that the Labour administration showed that it was “incapable” of negotiating a deal to secure the incentives needed to attract investment.

Turning the tables on Labour, which for years criticised previous PN governments for being weak with the EU, Busuttil said that the current administration was incompetent in negotiating with the EU and had accepted the deal without attempting to achieve a better deal as the PN had done on numerous occasions over the years.

Challenged to substantiate the opposition’s claim that medicines were being distributed discriminately to Labour insiders, Busuttil said the government’s internal inquiry was nothing but a farce.

Busuttil added that the PN based its claims on the information put forward by the “brave pharmacist” Denise Ellul and urged government to launch an independent inquiry to ensure that “political responsibility is shouldered and discrimination ends.”

Once again, the PN leader called on government to reach cross-party agreement on migration, however he said the Labour administration did not heed these calls and its tough talk on migration yielded no positive results.