[WATCH] Robert Abela stands by decision not to clear Caruana Galizia memorial

Prime Minister insists Great Siege monument belongs to the people but says decision not to clear flowers and candles commemorating Daphne Caruana Galizia was ‘appropriate’

Robert Abela gave instructions for flowers and candles not to be removed from Caruana Galizia makeshift memorial
Robert Abela gave instructions for flowers and candles not to be removed from Caruana Galizia makeshift memorial
Robert Abela stands by decision not to clear Caruana Galizia memorial

Robert Abela has stood by the decision not to clear flowers placed at the foot of the Great Siege monument commemorating Daphne Caruana Galizia.

“It was a decision which I felt was appropriate,” the Prime Minister said on Friday when asked about the decision that has earned him rebuke from some Labour Party supporters.

However, Abela tried to placate the opposition by insisting that the Great Siege monument belonged to the people and no one else.

On Wednesday, Abela gave instructions for the memorial not to be cleared from the flowers, candles and photos of the slain journalist placed by activists and mourners.

The decision was taken on the same day that a vigil was held to commemorate Caruana Galizia. Vigils are held every 16thof the month to mark the day of the journalist’s assassination.

The government and former justice minister Owen Bonnici had come under fire for repeatedly clearing the memorial at the dead of night. 

Foreign critics of the rule of law in Malta, including MEPs and other European institutions have often highlighted the regular cleansing operations as a sign of hostility by the government towards the Caruana Galizia family and mourners of the late journalist.

Asked what motivated him to pursue such a decision, Abela said that he felt it was a needed decision. 

Abela was speaking at a press conference this morning in Castille, during which he announced the resignation of Lawrence Cutajar from police commissioner.

The Prime Minister said the Cabinet committee that was appointed to consider the proposals made by international bodies on good governance will be tackling the issue of judicial appointments.

Call on Opposition not to adopt partisan view on judicial appointments

Abela said a proposal on a new method to appoint members of the judiciary will be forwarded to the Opposition.

Any decision will require a constitutional amendment, and therefore requires a two-thirds parliamentary majority.  

On whether the Opposition has been consulted yet, Abela said that a set of proposals will be forwarded at the appropriate time. 

“The proposals forwarded will be to everyone’s liking, and now I expect the Opposition not to have a partisan view on the issue,” he said.

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