Government opposes television broadcast of debate on Delimara power plant

Government disagrees with opposition request to have Monday’s Parliamentary debate on Delimara power plant broadcast on television

The opposition’s hopes of having Monday’s debate on the delayed construction of the Delimara power plant broadcast on television were dashed after government expressed its disagreement.

PN deputy leader Mario de Marco pointed out that future sittings in the new Parliament will be broadcast on both radio and television, and asked whether government agreed with treating Monday’s debate in the same manner.

“There’s no harm to broadcast the debate on television, especially since there’s an agreement on broadcasting sittings in the new Parliament,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech said that while government had no qualm in broadcasting the sitting, however if Monday’s debate had to be broadcast on television it would create an “anomaly.”

De Marco argued that the Parliamentary Standing Orders do not rule out the filming of Parliamentary debates and asked Speaker Anglu Farrugia to give a ruling.

Farrugia said that Standing Order 173 only allow the broadcast of Parliamentary sittings on radio.

Government’s deputy whip Deborah Schembri said “there was no agreement on debates held in this House, but the agreement was over debates held in the new Parliament.”

De Marco however said that during Monday’s House Business Committee, the government whip Carmelo Abela had only stated that “it is not customary” and never said that government was against the broadcast of the debate.