Political parties should choose Commissioner for Public Standards Speaker
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.