Driving licence scandal: ‘Stop treating ministers as demi-gods’, Greens tell police

ADPD says Cabinet ministers treated as ‘untouchable village patron saints’ by police

Carmel Cacopardo (centre) with Brian Decelis (left) and Ralph Cassar
Carmel Cacopardo (centre) with Brian Decelis (left) and Ralph Cassar

The Green Party ADPD has called for a system of full-time MPs that could turn parliament into a credible and effective institution, unshackling politicians from activities that imping one their political commitment.

In a press conference outside the House of Representatives, ADPD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo called on the police to stop treating Cabinet members and their entourage as “some special breed of citizens”.

“It is about time that those who present themselves as an example of political rectitude while, behind the scenes operate a whole system dishing out favours are not only named and shamed, but action is taken against them without delay.”

Cacopardo described the motor vehicles licences scandal as a serious case of clientelism spread widely among ministries, and took to task the police’s restraint in not mentioning politicians’ names.

“According to unofficial sources there are various current members of the Cabinet of ministers, and former ministers involved in this case. Two diaries have revealed detailed information on those who may have benefited undeservedly from assistance to pass these driving tests,” Cacopardo said.

He said it was no coincidence that almost each ministry has a ‘customer care unit’.

“Voters are treated as clients who need to be ‘served’ by the politician in return for their vote. It is a formal system of nepotism and corruption.

“To top it all one of those being accused of aiding and abetting corruption is being legally assisted by the shadow minister for Home Affairs for the Nationalist Party. It is undoubtedly highly unethical that someone who sees themselves as some crusader against corruption ends up defending someone who is accused of facilitating nepotism and corruption. The shadow minister has a problem with credibility and ethical behaviour. He is part of the problem with politics in this country.”

ADPD spokesperson Brian Decelis said the driving licence test case had revealed that there were people who thought it acceptable to cheat, an impunity that raised questions as to how rife this was in other areas of the public service, such as in the planning and development permits.

“It is deplorable that in this day and age ministers are still considered demi-gods, akin to village patron saints. They are considered as above the law and untouchables, rather than as public servants who lead by example. It is scandalous that political expediency and nepotism is practised even at the expense of the safety on our roads,” Decelis said.