Repubblika tells Robert Abela protests will continue if no action on Keith Schembri is taken

Repubblika says it is still skeptical about Robert Abela as Prime Minister but would wait for him to fulfill his promises

Repubblika member Marion Pace Asciak speaking at a vigil for Daphne Caruana Galizia in Valletta
Repubblika member Marion Pace Asciak speaking at a vigil for Daphne Caruana Galizia in Valletta

Good governance NGO Repubblika said that if no concrete measures are taken on all those responsible for journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia's murder, the protests will continue. 

Repubblika said that former chief of staff to former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is yet to answer for his involvement.

Speaking during a vigil for the late journalist in Valletta, 27 months after her assassination, members of the NGO claimed they were skeptical about Abela's premiership but said they would wait for him to fulfill his promises, including removing the incumbent Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar.

"The Prime Minister said he would not tolerate us. How can you deny someone the right of expression and protest in a democratic society? Whether you tolerate us or not, we will protest when needed... and if no concrete measures are taken on all those responsible for Caruana Galizia's murder, we will continue to protest," Marion Pace Asciak, Repubblika member, said. She had been referring to Abela's comments before the election when he referred to protest action as mere provocation. 

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Pace Asciak said that Abela's talk of continuity was worrying since the previous administration had defended "criminals in office" and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had ultimately resigned, she said, because Caruana Galizia's work was still making the rounds and conditioning Malta's political reality.

"It's satisfying to hear that Robert Abela agrees with Repubblika's fight on good governance, but now we will wait for him to fulfill his promises," Pace Asciak said. She added that pictures of Abela embracing the disgraced Tourism Minister, Konrad Mizzi, was not a sure sign of the change to come. 

A change that is expected by the NGO is to provide former police inspector and FIAU investigator Jonathan Ferris and Maria Efimova with a whistleblower status.

Repubblika criticised Abela's comments in the run-up to the Labour leadership election when he said that Malta's political situation is not a tragic one and said that Caruana Galizia's assassination was a tragedy for Malta and Europe. 

They also criticised the government's appointment of a Cabinet committee on governance, saying that former Justice Minister Owen Bonnici who is part of this committee is the same individual who had previously and continuously ordered the clearing up of the makeshift memorial to the journalist in Valletta. 

"We thank Simon Busuttil for his legal advice and we are proud of him for his prestigious appointment in the EU. We also thank him for his courage and determination, that despite seven years of vilification, he stood strong in his principles of clean politics, the same principles that Caruana Galizia's journalism was based on," Pace Asciak concluded.

Former Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil was recently appointed Secretary General of the European People's Party.

READ ALSO: Simon Busuttil takes top EPP job, will resign from Maltese parliament

Abela earlier confirmed that he had given specific instructions for the makeshift memorial to the late journalist to be left uncleared after the vigil.