We’re the ones with credibility to lead reforms – PM

Prime Minister Robert Abela has tonight declared that the Labour Party is the party with credibility on governance reforms in Malta.  

The Prime Minister was speaking during a debate on the Opposition’s Private Members Bill on governance.  

“This is a reformist government that has implemented unprecedented reforms which no government had the will to make,” he said.  

Today, Malta has a democratic framework which is stronger than ever before. Today our country has a robust and more modern system of governance. Much better than the system under previous Nationalist governments. 

Dr Abela challenged Opposition MPs on their track record before 2013, as they never mentioned good governance and the rule of law. Instead, they were more interested in preserving their right to govern.    

The Prime Minister said that many of the reforms implemented by this Government were changes that Nationalist governments refused to implement for a number of years. 

Today, Malta has a democratic framework which is stronger than ever before.

“The changes we implemented since January 2020 are there for everyone to see. They were approved by the Venice Commission and the European Commission.”

These reforms show not only that we’re not afraid of scrutiny, but we welcome it.

Prime Minister Abela noted that the people behind the Opposition’s bill are the same people who resisted change when they were in power pre-2013. He challenged MPs to mention one change implemented by previous Nationalist governments to improve good governance.

“The promoters of this bill preach good governance, when they are the ones who do not lead by example. We never said we were perfect. But those who preach holiness, do the opposite.”

The Prime Minister revealed that the Opposition made significant pressure for this Bill to be discussed and voted on in one Parliamentary sitting. This he said, showed bad faith on the part of the Opposition which still believes it can take people for a ride. 

Dr Abela went on to explain the work carried out since January 2020, with meetings with the Venice Commission and other institutions to implement the biggest reform package in Malta’s history. He noted how at the time, the Opposition’s criticism was that the government was moving too fast. That’s why, he added, these are all political gimmicks by an arrogant Opposition.

These are all political gimmicks by an arrogant Opposition.

The Prime Minister referred to the clear message he translated following the publication of the Daphne Caruana Galizia Inquiry report. A message of unity and lessons learnt, to the Maltese public, and to the Caruana Galizia family.

He noted the recent appointment of the Committee of Experts on the Media, headed by Judge Michael Mallia, the same person who led the Caruana Galicia Inquiry.

This Committee will now be analysing a number of bills prepared by Government for feedback before these are debated in Parliament.

The Prime Minister said that it was puzzling that Opposition spokesperson Commodini Cachia asked where the Government bills were, when she had personally received a copy from the Prime Minister.

Dr Abela said that unlike what the Opposition tries to show, there are a number of legislative amendments which find consensus between both sides of the house, including the Anti-SLAPP law, which will make Malta the first EU Member State to pass such law.

There is a clear difference between the two sides in their approach. “Our approach is simple. We consult, decide and implement,” said the Prime Minister.  

Our approach is simple. We consult, decide and implement.

Dr Abela accused the Opposition of wanting to stagnate the country’s economy, saying that this has been the Opposition’s plan all along, including during the pandemic. 

Referring to the Opposition’s proposal of an interim government, the Prime Minister made it clear that in our country, it’s the people who choose their government.

He asked how could the Leader of the Opposition be trusted in an interim government when he changes his position according to what people are saying on Facebook.

“The people know that the Opposition is not credible when it paints everything black. The Opposition’s goal is that of sending people to prison. Unlike them, my goal is to keep implementing positive budgets in order to improve the lives of Maltese families.”

“With this bill, you want to make a political statement that this is a Mafia State. Forget it, you will not be allowed to inflict damage on our country.”

Contrary to what the Opposition is saying, the Prime Minister added, the majority of Maltese people and businesses observe the law and we want to support them to make their success even bigger.

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