Abela’s campaign focused on ‘continuity’ but he’s changing everything – Delia

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Newly elected Partit Laburista leader Robert Abela ran on a platform promising continuity, Partit Nazzjonalista leader Adrian Delia noted, however, he added, ‘he was changing everything’ despite promising continuity’.

Delia was interviewed on the party radio station on Net FM during Issues a programme hosted by Angelo Micallef. The Opposition leader asked whether the newly sworn in Prime Minister designed his message according to the audience – promising continuity to earn the trust of Labour supporters who rooted for Joseph Muscat – and once elected proceeded to make changes in order to ‘please everyone else’.

The resignation of the Police Commissioner was overdue by two years, Delia highlighted. He added that had Lawrence Cutajar resigned earlier, a lot of issues which arose over the past months could have been avoided. ‘Cutajar obstructed justice to protect criminals,’ Delia claimed.

On Friday, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced that Cutajar tendered his resignation and that it was accepted. Assistant Commissioner Carmelo Magri was appointed as acting commissioner in his stead. Abela said that a new appointment method would be put forward before the cabinet meeting, however, he refrained from giving details.

The Nationalist leader said that the new commissioner should be appointed only after securing the vote of two-thirds of the House. Delia noted that there was a turnover in the number of police commissioners which were appointed during the two Labour-led administrations. He added that this did not bode well for the stability within police force.

“Despite having said that he would not take advice from me, Abela still removed the police commissioners,” Delia remarked.

Speaking about the Governance Board, Delia noted the lack of female representation on the board. He added that it would have been better if the board included other representatives, may be also members nominated by the Opposition.

The PN leader said that civil society welcomed the Nationalist proposals on good governance. He added that PN’s proposals are needed. He urged the government, the opposition and civil society to meet to discuss with the aim of strengthening the democratic institutions in the country. Delia added that one would seek to address immediate issues and also plan out and address other issues over the coming months.

Parliament will reconvene on Monday, after it had adjourned during the political crisis brought about by the developments in the murder investigation of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The political turmoil had sparked the immediate resignation of Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and disgraced OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri. Muscat announced in December that he would step down following the election of a new party leader.

Speaking about Monday, when parliament is back in session, Delia said that high on the party’s agenda is the rule of law and the separation of powers. He also spoke about the climate emergency resolution which had passed in parliament last year. The Opposition leader highlighted that it was not enough to vote on a motion but one had to act.