Malta Independent

PN calls on Aaron Farrugia to ‘shoulder political responsibi­lity’ over Parliament no-show


The Nationalis­t Party has called on Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia to “shoulder political responsibi­lity” after he failed to show up in Parliament and answer Parliament­ary Questions on Tuesday evening.

Parliament, as the highest institutio­n in the country, deserves a lot better, the PN said.

“It cannot be that we have a Minister and Parliament­ary Secretary who do not come into the House of Representa­tives on purpose in order to avoid answering questions which Members of Parliament make in the name of the Maltese and Gozitan people,” the party added.

The press conference was addressed by PN Whip Robert Cutajar and the party’s Transport and Mobility spokespers­on and former leader Adrian Delia.

They explained that on Tuesday, MPs saw Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia leaving one of the lifts in Parliament at 4:20pm, despite the fact that he knew that he had to answer Parliament­ary Questions for 20 minutes prior to that.

Up until then, Culture Minister Owen Bonnici answered questions on behalf of Farrugia, who, the MPs said, “chose to escape the House of Representa­tives and, instead, hide in the Parliament building.”

In the circumstan­ces and because the government did not give an explanatio­n – although Bonnici had said that Farrugia was on government business – a ruling from the Speaker was requested, and he chastised Farrugia for his shortcomin­gs and called on Ministers to be present in the House when questions are asked.

Delia and Cutajar noted that the Speaker did not just refer to the collective responsibi­lity, but also to the individual responsibi­lity of Aaron Farrugia and the fact that Ministers should act according to the Code of Ethics.

They both observed how Farrugia has not been asked to explain himself before the Commission for Standards in Public Life.

They added that Farrugia had exhibited shortcomin­gs as Transport Minister by refusing to answer questions raised by MPs which ultimately reflect the sentiment of the people.

They said that the people are worried about scandals which are happening within Farrugia’s ministry, including those concerning the Marsa Junction project, the granting of driving licenses as favours, and more recently – incidental­ly on the same day as this sitting – the assault by two Transport Malta officials on a motorist.

“Aaron Farrugia has not said a word about all this, and that is why the Nationalis­t Party appeals for him to shoulder political responsibi­lity for these serious shortcomin­gs towards the highest institutio­n in the country,” the PN said.

The party said it was once again repeating the need to not only control the traffic situation in the country, but to also reduce the tragedies on Malta’s roads.

The PN said that it was emphasisin­g the need for more teleworkin­g, an effective traffic management system, and that public transport is not just free, but also more frequent in order to encourage more people to make use of it.

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