'Busuttil treating people like children over protest claims' – AD

Arnold Cassola urges Parliament to immediately approve Bill to establish Commissioner for Public Standards 

AD chairperson Arnold Cassola (fourth from left) addresses a press conference outside Parliament.
AD chairperson Arnold Cassola (fourth from left) addresses a press conference outside Parliament.

Alternattiva Demokratika has criticised Opposition leader Simon Busuttil for warning that no-shows for Sunday’s protest organised by the PN will be giving their tacit approval to corruption.

“Busuttil arrogantly assumes that he has a right to decide for others whether they should attend PN activities or not,” AD chairperson Arnold Cassola told a press conference outside Parliament. “He has no right to decide for others, for other parties and organisations. Simon Busuttil should stop insulting people and treating them as if they were little children who need him to make decisions on their behalf.”

Cassola urged Parliament to immediately approve a Bill to establish a Commissioner for Public Standards – that was jointly tabled by the government and Opposition in 2013.

“Had the Bill been approved into law, the Commissioner would have been able to investigate any minister or politician who does not behave ethically, and investigate every minister and MP who hides money in Panama and Switzerland,” he said.

He added that the Commissioner would have been able to immediately – and without the Prime Minister’s approval - send for energy and health minister Konrad Mizzi and Joseph Muscat’s chief of staff Keith Schembri, to demand detailed explanations over their Panamanian registered companies.

“This is what would have happened in a country with a developed democracy,” he said. “The feeling of disgust at the political class is palpable, one ethical failure after another

"The attitude and mentality cultivated over the years is that it pays to engage in politics with those who can give you something back. The popular choice in the past was the PN, but that changed to Labour when it became obvious that they would get elected to government. Those who help and finance their campaigns are someway or another thanked through public funds.”

Describing the political duopoly as a “shambles”, he said that both the PN and PL refuse to change the board game as it suits them both well.

“They know it is totally under their control. This sytem has led to a shambles, to a system of dispensation of favours and clientilism instead of a transparent, modern and pluralist democracy.”