[WATCH] Muscat denying people chance to see him debate Adrian Delia on abortion and tax, PN says

PN accuses Prime Minister of refusing to debate the Opposition leader on abortion and tax harmonisation on Xarabank, but Muscat says there's no issue

The PN said Joseph Muscat was denying the people the chance to witness a Xarabank debate on abortion and tax harmonisation
The PN said Joseph Muscat was denying the people the chance to witness a Xarabank debate on abortion and tax harmonisation

After turning the MEP elections into a presidential race, Joseph Muscat chose to deny the people the chance to witness a debate on Xarabank between him and Adrian Delia, the PN said.

The Nationalist Party accused the Prime Minister of refusing to participate in a debate on the popular television show which would have dealt with the subjects of abortion and tax harmonisation.

“It was Joseph Muscat himself who wanted to turn the election into a presidential [race] between him and PN leader Adrian Delia, who was ready to debate the Prime Minister on Xarabank, had he accepted,” the party said in a statement on Friday.

“Instead, Joseph Muscat doesn’t want a debate on the manifesto of his friend Frans Timmermans and of the European Socialists, who want to impose abortion and deny us the right to decide on our tax system.”

Muscat, the PN said, had denied the Maltese people an important debate a few days before the election of 25 May on the most popular programme on national TV.

“This is that same as how the Prime Minister is denying the people [the opportunity] to read secret reports which are being kept ‘in the drawer’, and how he is denying Parliament several discussions.”

The party added that this illustrated the way in which the “socialist government” was stifling the democratic process in Malta, through what the media reported the Prime Minister as calling a ‘strategic decision’.

“No wonder journalists are asking what Joseph Muscat has to hide,” it said.

The statement comes after Delia, at a political activity on Monday, criticised Muscat for refusing to debate him on the current affairs programme which was due to air today.

Delia bringing up a non-issue - Muscat

Asked earlier today about the matter, Muscat insisted that there was no issue, and that he was merely abiding with an agreement that there would be two debates held between him and Delia - one which took place at the start of the campaign, and another scheduled for next week.

He said he would not be appearing on Xarabank tonight “for the simple reason that there is an arrangement for two debates - one took place at the at the beginning of the campaign, and the other is scheduled for next week.”

“If Dr Delia is throwing a tantrum all of a sudden - at the start of the week he brought up the non-existent issue of abortion and ended the week with a non-existent issue about Xarabank - then I hope that by next week he’ll have calmed down,” Muscat said.

The Labour Party also released a statement on Friday afternoon saying it was Delia who has something to hide, since he had not demanded that an inquiry be held into allegations which were made in his regard.

"It is he who doesn't demand the opening of an inquiry who has something to hide," the PL said, "Joseph Muscatd debated Adrian Delia at the start of the electoral campaign and will debate him again on Wednesday, as has been known since the beginning of the campaign."

"And this was supposed to be a campaign absent of spite!" it remarked.

More in National