Op­po­si­tion Leader Si­mon Busut­til calls for a na­tional coali­tion against cor­rup­tion

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Kevin Schem­bri Or­land

Op­po­si­tion Leader Si­mon Busut­til urged peo­ple to join the PN in form­ing a coali­tion against cor­rup­tion, “a coali­tion be­tween peo­ple of good will who do not turn a blind eye to cor­rup­tion.”

Dr Busut­til was ad­dress­ing a po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity at the Flo­ri­ana Gra­naries, ahead of In­de­pen­dence Day, called ‘Politi­cians you can trust’, in an ac­tiv­ity prior to the mass meet­ing that will take place on Tues­day.

“Cor­rup­tion is bad, and the gov­ern­ment is mak­ing a mis­take by clos­ing its eyes to this, sweep­ing it un­der the car­pet. I am not the only one say­ing this, ev­ery­one is. Re­cently, Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional pub­lished a mes­sage which read: ‘Malta needs to clean up its cor­rup­tion mess be­fore it heads the Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union next year.’ The whole world is look­ing at this gov­ern­ment’s cor­rup­tion.”

“The so­lu­tion to a cor­rupt gov­ern­ment, is an al­ter­na­tive gov­ern­ment that puts the fight against cor­rup­tion at the fore­front, and which by over­com­ing cor­rup­tion can put the needs of the peo­ple first,” Dr Busut­til said.

“Salvu Mal­lia’s pres­ence here yes­ter­day sent a strong and clear mes­sage,” he said, “that he (Mr Mal­lia) is ready to join the PN as he sees the PN as the only al­ter­na­tive to over­come this prob­lem. I wel­come Mr Mal­lia’s mes­sage and I call any­one who has the will, like him, to join the PN and over­come this chal­lenge.”

Dr Busut­til pledged to run a gov­ern­ment where min­is­ters fol­low the high­est pos­si­ble stan­dards, where no min­is­ter would have a se­cret com­pany in Panama, “that no min­is­ter will have a con­flict of in­ter­est, and I won’t ac­cept that any min­is­ter brings their wife, hus­band, chil­dren or par­ents into gov­ern­ment work.”

He said that the PN will in­tro­duce a sys­tem where the high­est po­si­tions in the coun­try, from the Pres­i­dent down­wards, will be cho­sen through a two-thirds ma­jor­ity in Par­lia­ment

He also pledged to clean up the Po­lice Force and the Armed Forces from par­ti­san pol­i­tics, “so that th­ese cru­cial corps, so cru­cial to Malta’s se­cu­rity, will be there to serve the peo­ple and not pro­tect those who are cor­rupt.”

He also promised that the PN would strengthen the of­fices of the Au­di­tor Gen­eral and the Om­buds­man, and added that a PN gov­ern­ment would tie it­self to abide by their de­ci­sions. He also spoke about in­creas­ing the pow­ers of the Om­buds­man, giv­ing him the power to in­ves­ti­gate cor­rup­tion.

Turn­ing to the PBS, he said that the PN would again give it au­ton­omy and not in­sult the peo­ple’s in­tel­li­gence. It should be in­de­pen­dent, and not con­trolled by gov­ern­ment, he said.

He stressed that mak­ing pro­pos­als is not enough, and one must earn the trust of the peo­ple. “I know that one must work in or­der to earn trust, and I am ready to work for it. I do not ex­pect any­thing, I only await that you give me the chance to per­suade you and win your vote. If I per­suade you that I am hon­est, that I am a per­son of in­tegrity, then vote for the PN. You al­ready trusted me when we were vot­ing whether to en­ter or re­main out of the EU, and I ask you to join me again to fight against cor­rup­tion and clean up the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem once and for all.”

He men­tioned the vote against Leo Brin­cat’s nom­i­na­tion, say­ing that this was be­cause he as­so­ci­ated him­self with the Panama Pa­pers scan­dal by clos­ing his eyes to the cor­rup­tion. “Ev­ery­one in the EU Par­lia­ment voted against him, re­sult­ing in giv­ing a bad name to Malta. I in­sist, that the Prime Min­is­ter re­spect the EU Par­lia­ment vote, the most demo­crat­i­cally elected in­sti­tu­tion in the EU. They spoke with an ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity, say­ing ‘no’. Ac­cept their de­ci­sion, as if you do not, then you will not only be lead­ing a cor­rupt gov­ern­ment, but an anti-demo­cratic one. Who­ever does not re­spect the EU Par­lia­ment’s de­ci­sion is anti-demo­cratic.”

“Our so­lu­tion is sim­ple,” he said. “Our pri­or­ity is to lead an al­ter­na­tive gov­ern­ment that cleans up cor­rup­tion.”

The meet­ing was also ad­dressed by PN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Rosette Thake, as well as new PN can­di­dates Mary Bezzina, Doris Borg, Jean-Pierre De­bono, Joe El­l­lis, Ian Vas­sallo and Stan­ley Zam­mit.

Fol­low­ing their in­ter­ven­tion Dr Busut­til again took the stand and said that when­ever the elec­tion comes, the PN would be ready for it and would win. “This is why we are strength­en­ing the party. I urge you to re­flect on the more hu­man and per­sonal as­pect, of th­ese peo­ple de­cid­ing to con­test the elec­tion. The an­swer is not easy. They have a mil­lion rea­sons to say no, such as worry and stress, with ev­ery­one ask­ing for some­thing, and peo­ple in­sult­ing them. Even more so, we must ad­mire peo­ple con­test­ing un­der the PN ticket as we are in the Op­po­si­tion. You must be a per­son who has a sense of duty, who wants to stand up and be counted. You must be a per­son of prin­ci­ple.”

Photo: Jonathan Borg

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