Richard Cachia Caruana resignation, PM surprised, Muscat - ‘GonziPN in meltdown’ [WATCH]

Opposition leader accuses Prime Minister of being in denial about state of his leadership.

Lawrence Gonzi has accepted Richard Cachia Caruana's (right) resignation.
Lawrence Gonzi has accepted Richard Cachia Caruana's (right) resignation.

LIVE BLOG Parliamentary debate on Opposition motion (ended)

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi suffered a second defeat inside his parliamentary group Monday evening, when Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando voted in favour of an Opposition calling for the resignation of permanent representative to the EU, Richard Cachia Caruana.

Nationalist MP Jesmond Mugliett abstained on the motion, which accused Cachia Caruana of having manoeuvred the reactivation of Malta's participation in Nato's Partnership for Peace in such a manner as to bypass the House's need for ratification of PfP.

The vote was passed with 35 votes in favour of the Opposition motion and 33 against as Jesmond Mugliett abstained.

Lawrence Gonzi told MaltaToday he was surprised with the vote, sayingthere was an understanding within the parliamentary group that all MPs would vote against the Opposition motion. "I am surprised that one MP voted in favour and another abstained on this motion."

Gonzi said he had accepted Richard Cachia Caruana's resignation as permanent representative to the EU, but had asked Cachia Caruana to stay on until such time as a substitute is found to take his place in Brussels.

"The Opposition's motion was motivated by personal reasons against Cachia Caruana. Labour is putting its own interests ahead of the country's at this delicate time. Justice will prevail, even if today it has been betrayed."

But Gonzi said that as long as he had the support of the parliamentary majority, his position and that of the government was sustainable. "I still respect the decision of the House."

In comments to MaltaToday, Mugliett said PfP reactivation - which was announced three weeks after the PN's re-election in March 2008 when parliament was still in dissolution - had not been in the party's electoral programme.

"After the general election, since PfP was not listed in the electoral manifesto, this had to be discussed in parliament, irrespectively of whether there was a legal obligation or not. It was a matter of importance that needed parliamentary consent. Even if there was no consent, it had to be discussed in the House."

On his part, after a speech in which he accused Richard Cachia Caruana of having used media acolytes of targeting critics of the PN and the government, Pullicino Orlando told this newspaper: "No official should consider himself above this House."

Throughout his speech, Pullicino Orlando insisted that Cachia Caruana had pushed Malta into reactivating Partnership for Peace in a such a manner as to bypass a divisive vote, and said this had also led to Malta's support of Turkish EU membership without consulting the parliamentary group.

Labour leader Joseph Muscat, in a press conference called at the party's headquarters, said the loss of yet another motion for the government was a confirmation of a "meltdown" inside the Nationalist one-seat majority.

"This motion was a clear vote in favour of Labour's motion, and one against the position of the prime minister, who chose to stay in denial and instead target Labour with his base attacks," Muscat said.

"The GonziPN system has failed and it is no longer sustainable. What happened today is a witness of this failure, of the failure of Lawrence Gonzi's leadership and it has nothing to do with any MP."

Muscat said the so called 'GonziPN' system was now in meltdown, and its effects were being felt on the government's stability and the governability of democracy during a time of recession. "It is clear that Gonzi's leadership has no solutions left at all."

This motion is the second blow for Lawrence Gonzi after the motion of no confidence in Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici, which was passed after Nationalist MP Franco Debono voted with the Opposition. The minister resigned immediately.

Cachia Caruana has formerly been a PN campaign manager and a personal assistant to former prime minister Eddie Fenech, He then negotiated Malta's accession to the EU, and was appointed permanent representative to the EU in 2004.

The Opposition motion, calling for his resignation, is based on US embassy cable leaked by Wikileaks, which quotes American officials saying Cachia Caruana supported a 'procedural bandaid' to revive Malta's partnership for peace agreement without having to go the House for a divisive vote.

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The 'bile clique' composed of Daphne Caruana Galizja, Lou Bondi, Andrew Borg Cardona, u (Fr) Joe Borg are doing a splendid job in ensuring a Labour victory at the next general elections. Keep up the good work cums.
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Għaziz Prim Ministru jien isorperndejtni kif ħassejtek sorpriz ghax JPO ivvota ma l-oppożizjoni. Jekk ma tafx x'iridu ta' madwarek ahseb u ara kemm taf xi jrid il-poplu. Ħu l-parir ta' min għandu ftit sens u xolji il-parlament u mur għal elezjoni. Aktar mat-tawwal aktar qed ittelef lil PN mic-cans li jerġa jkun fil-gvern. Ma ghandekx triq oħra, illum dak għada jerġa l-ieħor. Tibqax taqa għaz zuvjett u turi li int ikakkkmat mas-siggu. Sejjaħ elezzjoni minnufiħ!!!
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Nisperaw li ma jkollniex xi FRIZA b'simpatiji profondi Amerikani li tiehu post RCC !!. Ghax diga ghandna idejat ta' kif thares lejn certi affarijiet. Dwar is -SOPA diga serrhet ras l-Amerikani li m'hemmx ghalfejn jinkwetaw ghax din tidhol bilmodilmod u bil-mohbi!!. Qed tara, qeghda go fihom li jahdmu minn wara dahar il-poplu u r-rapprezentanti tieghu fil-Parlament. Halli naghmilha cara , personalment m'ghandix fiducja f'min jiddikjara li lest jilghab minn wara dahri. Nistennew u naraw. Is-SOPA hija dak il-ftehim li l-Gvern Amerikan irid jilhaq ma pajjizi "hbieb" tieghu fejn jekk nies tal-militar Amerikan iwettqu xi krimini f'art barranija, dawn il-Gvern tal-post ma jistax jipprocedi kontrihom !!!. Dik demokrazija.
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falzonalfred6 la jkun spicca minn kardinal ma jistax jilhaq Papa. Issa kulhadd attent halli naraw meta jitla duhhan abjad minn fuq il-palazz halli naraw min se jinhatar minn floku, imma mili jidher il-bierah dahna kbira sewda kien hemm.
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In my humble opinion, nothing will change. Yes on the façade we shall see a new face as representative in Brussels, however RCC shall continue to manipulate GonziPN cabinet and government. - For the PN to rid of RCC one of two things must happen either someone like John Dalli will be at the helm of the party or the PN goes to the opposition.
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Skont ma qrajt dan irrizenja? jew sfiducjat mill maggoranza tal membri parlamentari? "So he is fired"? Issa Franco li ghalkemm indirizzak bhala "Bicca Deputat" u konfermajt li tibza minnhu ara ma tmurx tohloq xi hbiberija mall boccu, il part time qassis, mas sinjura jew ma loo ghax tkompli titkisser aktar milli int!
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GRAZZI KBIRA tmur ghal Daphne Caruana Galizja, Lou Bondi, Andrew Borg Cardona, u Fr. Joe Borg..talli qeghedin jghejnu lil Partit Laburista isir aktar b`sahtu min qatt qabel....Thank you and keep on the good work.....
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ISSA NISTENNEW IL FAMUZA ANALASI TA JAMES DEBONO.
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ANOTHER EGG SLASHED IN GONZIS FACE.
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Fortunately, as we have witnessed and heard in all of the eulogies, Mr.Cachia Caruana is exceptionally well organised and is sure to have a substitute lined up to take over with immediate effect.
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Luke Camilleri
I wouldn't want to be a plate in the Caruana Galizia's residence tonite!
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Tinkwetax gonz .... il-bambin jaghlaq bieb u jiftah iehor .... issa kulma trid tahtar lil carmelo mifsud bonnici bhala r-rapprezentant ta' malta fi brussell flok RCC ... as easy as that ... sakemm naturalment ma tridx tahtar lil JPO jew lil dik il-mara helwa mill-bidnija li kultant twaddab il-platti jew lil mugliette jew lill-bocca jew lil dak il-qassis ta' birkirkara jew lil lou bondi jew lil peppi azzopardi .... u naturalment malli tehles minn dil-bicca xoghol antipatika, kompli urina l-par idejn sodi li wrejtna f'dawn l-ahhar xhur u kompli gib l-investiment .... ahna nafu kemm tinqala' ghal hekk ...
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Luke Camilleri
Another post card campaign?
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Spicca il kardinal u issa jilhaq Papa?

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