Po­lit­i­cal par­ties should choose Com­mis­sioner for Pub­lic Stan­dards Speaker

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Gabriel Schem­bri

Speaker Anglu Far­ru­gia re­it­er­ated his call for more re­spect to­wards one another dur­ing Par­lia­men­tary ses­sions and for mem­bers of the House to utilise their time bet­ter.

In com­ments to The Malta In­de­pen­dent, Dr Far­ru­gia has in­sisted on the need for Par­lia­ment to be more ef­fi­cient. He referred to one par­tic­u­lar dis­cus­sion which he deems to be ur­gent and which needs to be dis­cussed as soon as pos­si­ble – the law which will set up the Com­mis­sioner for Pub­lic Stan­dards.

“It is high time that the two po­lit­i­cal par­ties put aside their dif­fer­ences and choose a suit­able per­son to be­come Com­mis­sioner for Pub­lic Stan­dards. This is what Par­lia­ment needs for it to be as trans­par­ent as pos­si­ble.”

Par­lia­ment re­sumes this evening with both par­ties geared up for yet another busy agenda. The party whips, God­frey Far­ru­gia and David Agius men­tioned some im­por­tant is­sues our MPs have to de­bate as the po­lit­i­cal sea­son re­sumes.

Gov­ern­ment whip God­frey Far­ru­gia told this news­pa­per that the bill propos­ing changes in the pen­sions of mem­bers of the ju­di­ciary is first on the long list of mo­tions the Par­lia­ment will de­bate. The dis­cus­sion on the UN Con­ven­tion on Persons With Dis­abil­ity will then re­sume on Tues­day.

As one would ex­pect, the pre­sen­ta­tion of the Bud­get, the Prime Min­is­ter’s speech and that of the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion will dom­i­nate the month of Oc­to­ber. But on Wed­nes­day 19, only two days af­ter the bud­get pre­sen­ta­tion by Min­is­ter Ed­ward Sci­cluna, Par­lia­ment will dis­cuss the EU Di­rec­tive on Money Laun­der­ing.

“This bud­get will not in­clude Manuel Mal­lia’s Min­istry for Gam­ing, but his time will be taken from that re­duced from the Min­istry of health, since the en­ergy port­fo­lio was re­moved,” Dr Far­ru­gia added.

Among the dis­cus­sions ahead, Par­lia­ment will be de­bat­ing the law re­gard­ing the reg­is­tra­tion of air­lines.

Mean­while, con­tacted by this news­room, PN whip David Agius said that he ex­pects the gov­ern­ment to be more pre­pared and keep the Op­po­si­tion in­formed on the par­lia­men­tary agenda.

“We know of the up­com­ing bud­get dis­cus­sion, but we have no idea what we’ll be dis­cussing af­ter that. House busi­ness com­mit­tee still has to meet later today.”

He said that the bud­get dis­cus­sion, with the gov­ern­ment’s pre­sen­ta­tion and the Op­po­si­tion’s replica, will prac­ti­cally take the whole month of Oc­to­ber. But as Agius ex­plained, the gov­ern­ment did not use these three months of va­ca­tion time to plan ahead.

The PN whip also said that one ex­pects Par­lia­ment to have a se­ri­ous de­bate on vote 16, since the re­cent re-emer­gence of calls for its in­tro­duc­tion. A date for this de­bate is not given yet.

The PN hopes that its mo­tions are dis­cussed dur­ing this par­lia­men­tary sea­son. Mr Agius men­tioned the PN’s mo­tion propos­ing changes in to the Con­sti­tu­tion, which in­cludes, among other things, ex­tend­ing the vote to 16-year-olds. He men­tioned the pri­vate mem­ber’s bill put for­ward by Dr Ja­son Az­zopardi re­gard­ing the re­moval of a per­son’s name from the child abuse reg­istry.

“I ex­pect this par­lia­men­tary sea­son to be dom­i­nated by the dis­cus­sion on en­ergy and the EU Pres­i­dency,” he added.

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