[WATCH] Abela says Malta will skirt Moneyval greylist 'as we did with COVID pandemic'

Labour Party Extraordinary General Conference approves statute amendment to exclude MPs from deputy leadership   

Prime Minister Robert Abela
Prime Minister Robert Abela

Diskors mill-Prim Ministru u Mexxej tal-Partit Laburista, Robert Abela waqt il-plenarja tal-Konferenza Ġenerali Straordinarja

Posted by Partit Laburista on Thursday, 2 July 2020

Prime Minister Robert Abela has expressed his confidence in Malta not being placed on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) money laundering greylist, as the October deadline looms closer.

“In the same way we passed the pandemic test and the Venice Commission test, we will be passing the Moneyval test,” Abela insisted.

Abela was speaking during the Labour Party’s Extraordinary General Conference.

The general conference is being held in light of former deputy leader Chris Cardona’s resignation from the post, after his name was mentioned multiple times in court testimony given by pardoned middleman Melvin Theuma during the compilation of evidence against murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.

Cardona is alleged to have paid for Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, using his canvasser, Anthony Chetcuti, known as il-Biglee, who acted as the middleman with Alfred Degiorgio, one of the murderers.

Chris Cardona has since denied the allegation, insisting it was a lie.

A motion to not have the deputy leader for party affairs a member of parliament and not contest for the general election till at least two years after his or her resignation, received unanimous approval during the general conference.

READ ALSO: Daniel Micallef urged to contest Labour Party deputy leadership vacated by Chris Cardona

“We have to ensure the party continues to renew itself, if not we risk getting stuck in the past,” the PM told those present.

Abela stated the party should continue scrutinizing government’s work, while being a catalyst for new ideas.

He also insisted in having more young people and women at the forefront of party leadership.

“That is when we can truly call ourselves a party ahead of its time,” Abela said.

On his administration’s work over the past months, he said government has passed through difficult tests, but continued to emerge victorious.

“The secret to our success was that we took difficult decisions, and we didn’t let forecasts dictate our agenda,” he said.

Turning to the Moneyval report, Abela expressed his confidence in the country not getting greylisted.

“In the same manner we set new standards in good governance, as certified by the Venice Commission, we will be successful,” he stated.

The PM also made reference to government WHIP Glen Bedingfield’s impassioned speech in parliament on Wednesday evening, accusing PN MPs of having had professional and friendly relationships with alleged Daphne Caruana Galizia murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech.

“How quickly they shut up after hearing his [Glen Bedingfield] speech yesterday,” the PM said.

Abela said following the WHIP’s speech, panic struck the PN, warning that while he had taken the “difficult decisions which needed to be taken”, he would not be shying away from protecting his cabinet and MPs. ­­

“I don’t want to play this game, but if they want to take us there, we can play it,” Abela declared.

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