Adrian Delia leads Opposition walkout from Parliament

Lack of ministerial statement on European Parliament's approval of a resolution on the rule of law in Malta prompts Opposition to walk out of Parliament • Parliamentary work continues without Opposition

Opposition leader Adrian Delia reiterated that the Opposition was rejecting the government's business as usual approach
Opposition leader Adrian Delia reiterated that the Opposition was rejecting the government's business as usual approach

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia this evening led the Opposition out of Parliament, after his call for a ministerial statement on a European Parliament vote on the rule of law in Malta, was rejected.

The Opposition leader said that it had been a month since journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia had been murdered, three weeks after the Opposition had put forward a motion asking for parliament to debate the rule of, and a week since the Opposition said it could not accept a business as usual approach. Delia accused the government of failing to take concrete action on several proposals put forward by the Opposition.

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“The government that listens, listened and did nothing,” he said, insisting that it was unacceptable for the Prime Minister to be travelling abroad to sell Maltese passports “on behalf of Henley and Partners” at such a delicate moment for the country.

Government whip Byron Camilleri said that parliamentary debate was the a fundamental principle in any democracy.

“Leaving the room means the PN is showing us that after abandoning Malta at the European Parliament, it was now also abandoning Malta in the Maltese Parliament,” said Camilleri.

Foreign minister Carmelo Abela insisted he had always defended Malta's name, unlike PN MEPs. He did not make a ministerial statement, prompting the Opposition walkout. 

The Partit Demokratiku joined the Nationalist Party in its walkout. Former leader Marlene Farrugia and MP Godrey Farrugia were not present when Delia said the PN would be walking out of the House, however shortly after,  Godfrey Farrugia entered parliament and informed the Speaker that the PD would be joining the PN's symbolic action.

Despite the walkout, Opposition MPs Edwin Vassallo, Ivan Bartolo and Karl Gouder were still present at a meeting of the parliamentary social affairs committee.  

Labour Party reaction

Reacting to the walkout, the Labour Party said that what had been planned for last week had actually taken place this week, and showed that Delia was being held hostage by the “PN establishment led by Simon Busuttil”.

“While he is saying that parliament shouldn’t keep going with a business as usual approach, within the Nationalist Party everything remained the same, with normal fundraising, as well as deputy leadership elections still ongoing,” said the PL.

Muscat disrespecting the country - Partit Demokratiku

In a statement, Partit Demokratiku said the Prime Minister had disrespected the rule of law in Malta by failing to attend the EP debate,, adding that he had now also failed to make a ministerial statement in Parliament.

It said this “irresponsible” behaviour was unacceptable and that Malta’s reputation was now being tarnished in a shameful way through the dismantling of the institutions.