Gavin Gulia cannot be reappointed MTA chair without a parliamentary grilling

Gavin Gulia’s imminent return as chair of the Malta Tourism Authority cannot take place unless he first undergoes a parliamentary grilling, the Nationalist Party warns

Gavin Gulia won a casual election, resigned from the MTA, became an MP and resigned seconds later to go back to the MTA. The law requires that Gulia undergoes a grilling at the hands of MPs before being reappointed MTA chair. (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
Gavin Gulia won a casual election, resigned from the MTA, became an MP and resigned seconds later to go back to the MTA. The law requires that Gulia undergoes a grilling at the hands of MPs before being reappointed MTA chair. (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

It would be illegal if Gavin Gulia is reappointed chair of the Malta Tourism Authority without first appearing in front of parliament’s Public Appointments Committee, the Nationalist Party said.

Gulia resigned the authority’s chairmanship yesterday morning to be able to take his seat in parliament in the afternoon. The law regulating the MTA disallows MPs from occupying the role.

But Gulia’s immediate resignation from MP, seconds after taking his oath, was motivated by what he said was the Prime Minister’s request to continue serving at the MTA.

However, the law requires that the appointment of MTA chair is first scrutinised by MPs in the Public Appointments Committee.

The PN warned on Thursday that Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo cannot simply reappoint Gulia without submitting his name to the parliamentary committee for a grilling.

“As members of the Public Appointments Committee we remind the minister that if he intends reappointing Gavin Gulia as chairman of the MTA, he is obliged at law to put forward the nomination for scrutiny by the committee,” the PN statement signed by Karol Aquilina read.

Gulia’s sudden resignation from parliament just 24 hours after winning a casual election to fill the seat vacated by Edward Scicluna came as a surprise to many.

The resignation gives the Prime Minister the chance to co-opt someone to parliament and this is very likely to be the Commissioner for Rights of Persons with a Disability Oliver Scicluna. 

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