Repubblika’s next move: presenting ‘vision for a new Malta’ on eve of Muscat’s resignation

The NGO that grouped PN ‘exiles’ and led largest-ever national protest against corruption could be setting the stage for increased political participation

The NGO Repubblika, which successfully convened one of Malta’s largest ever national protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, has announced an annual general meeting for new members in a move that could spell out its political vision.

With members of the Repubblika already consisting of former Nationalist Party members who turned their efforts away from the party led by Opposition Adrian Delia, the NGO now plans an AGM just a week after yet another national protest is held on Sunday 5 January.

The AGM will be held on the eve of of Joseph Muscat’s resignation as PM and leader of the Labour Party.

“We are angry and worried at what is happening in court country. This pretence of normality is covering up our democracy’s institutional collapse. We need a vision for our society, our economy and a sustainable democracy that is just and free of corruption and organised criminality… we are convening an AGM for members to discuss our vision for a new Malta,” the NGO said.

At odds with the PN leadership of Adrian Delia, its seasoned members understand that any general election at this stage of Labour’s electoral cycle would ultimately mean a loss for the PN and the end of Delia’s leadership - setting the stage for a renewed leadership contest that can bridge the divided factions inside the PN.

The founding members of Repubblika are Robert Aquilina – the brother of Nationalist MP Karol Aquilina; former Democratic Party official Karl Camilleri; Occupy Justice activists Simon Sansone, Sammi Davis and Pia Zammit; the former PN candidate and ministerial aide Manuel Delia; NGO worker Alexander Hili; veteran PN stalwarts Marion Pace Asciak, and Joe Pace Asciak. Marion Pace Asciak, former PN administrative council member and former president of the PN’s women’s section, is the interim chairperson of Repubblika.

All smiles: from left, Manuel Delia, Robert Aquilina, Karl Camilleri, Marion Pace Asciak, and right, Sammi Davis
All smiles: from left, Manuel Delia, Robert Aquilina, Karl Camilleri, Marion Pace Asciak, and right, Sammi Davis

The statement comes in the wake of news that both Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his former chief of staff Keith Schembri had left Malta for short family holidays to Dubai, and Italy, respectively.

Schembri is being investigated on allegations of homicide and obstruction of justice in the Daphne Caruana Galizia probe.

Topping a day of yet more events detailing Muscat’s fall from grace was the unlikely award of ‘person of the year in corruption and organised crime’ from the OCCRP, where he pipped US President Donald Trump to the top prize.

Earlier on it emerged that the alleged mastermind in the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination, Yorgen Fenech, had been one of Joseph Muscat’s guests at a party held at the Prime Minister’s Girgenti residence last February, during which Fenech gifted the prime minister three bottles of the premier Bordeaux red wine, Pétrus; one of the bottles was a 1974 vintage, the prime minister’s birth year, while the other two bottles – both 2007 vintages – mark the year Muscat’s twin daughters were born.

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