[WATCH] Opposition wants President elected by parliamentary two-thirds in good governance proposals

Opposition leader Adrian Delia says proposals put forward by his party are intended to keep power at the highest level of government in check

Opposition leader Adrian Delia
Opposition leader Adrian Delia

The president should be elected by a two-thirds parliamentary vote to give the office more legitimacy and power, the Nationalist Party is proposing.

A president with more powers would also be able to send laws back to parliament if he feels they are anti-constitutional.

The proposals form part of a raft of suggestions put forward this afternoon by the PN, aimed at improving good governance.

Opposition leader Adrian Delia, flanked by MP Chris Said, presented the proposals, which they said will help prevent the abuse of power at the highest level of government.

“The last months have been testament to how government officials can make use of the powers given to them by law in order to do as they please,” Delia said.

PN MP Chris Said insisted that while the executive branch of government should be allowed to exercise power, the proposals look at keeping that power in check.

Giving the president more power will enable him to send laws back to parliament if he feels they are anti-constitutional. He or she will only be allowed to do this once, if the law gets parliamentary approval for the second time, Said explained.

The Opposition also suggested government create the post of a corruption commissioner, who will be able to open cases without government approval. Police will also be forced to investigate such cases under the direction of the same commissioner.

In its proposals, the PN once again called for the Attorney General and the Police Commissioner to be elected by a two-thirds majority in parliament.

The Opposition also proposed that the chair of constitutional bodies, such as the Broadcasting Authority and the Electoral Commission be elected through a two-thirds parliamentary majority.

If a majority is not reached, the President elected through the same majority, would be the one to make the appointments.

Read the full document here:

On government’s proposals presented to the Venice Commission last week, Delia said their was convergence on some proposals, parallel thinking on others, and changes that the Opposition would like to see.

Over the role of the Ombudsman, the PN said it agreed with government's proposals but wanted to go a step further in having any cases not reviewed to be discussed in the House Business Committee.

But the PN proposals also suggest that all MPs should not be allowed to hold positions as members of boards within government. The party is also suggesting the formation of a state council, which would be made up of former prime ministers, presidents and speakers. The council would then hold the role of advising government.

“This is a propositive document because we don’t only want to criticize but also put forward proposals,” Delia said.

The PN leader said the party could have only criticized the government’s proposals, but chose to set an example in providing alternatives to what it does not agree on.