Simon Busuttil: anti-corruption protest a national, not partisan issue

"Corruption is natural wherever humanity is involved, but the measure of a leader is how they react to such corruption" - PN leader

PN leader Simon Busuttil (Photo:Ray Attard)
PN leader Simon Busuttil (Photo:Ray Attard)

Nationalist party Simon Busuttil made an impassioned plea to citizens to participate in the PN’s protest against corruption later today, regardless of their political creed.

Speaking during a political activity in Bormla, Busuttil said that today’s protest was a “national protest” and that it was an opportunity for people who truly loved their country to “stand up against corruption.”

“The government is in a crisis of corruption, and this corruption has seeped into the highest levels of government,” he said, making particular reference to the offshore companies held by energy and health minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri.

Stressing that Prime minister Joseph Muscat’s government had presented a series of scandals in just three years in office, Busuttil stressed that the PN was no longer willing to accept or indeed believe the excuses being made by the government.

“Muscat is choosing to defend and stand by people whose interests are questionable,” he said, adding that many were losing their trust and faith in the government as a result.

Admitting that many questioned the PN’s credentials to talk about good governance and corruption, Busuttil said that although the PN had been in government for 25 years, corruption, although arguably present, had never been allowed to reach such heights.

“Wherever there is humanity, there can be corruption,” he said, “But the issue here is whether the government takes action against corrupt individuals, and Muscat isn’t.”

Busuttil further stressed that he had entered politics specifically to clean-out the party, and that he had been faced with tough challenges and hurdles throughout his years as party leader.

“I can safely say I passed all these tests, unlike Muscat, who dragged his feet on so many issues and chose to defend so many corrupt people,” Busuttil said.

Busuttil reiterated that the PN’s new challenge and cause would be to clean out politics once and for all.

Adding that the party had chosen to address its political activity in Bormla, a traditionally Labour stronghold, Busuttil made an impassioned plea to Labour supporters who felt like they were being betrayed by current events and the rampant corruption.

“I urge anyone who has these feelings to speak out and stop this corruption from taking over,” he said.

“The government’s mud slinging tactics have completely degenerated politics,” he said, adding that the government continued to make unsubstantiated attacks that were not based on facts to attack members of the opposition.