Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
The Opposition is proposing appointing an Anti-Corruption Commissioner. This is one of the Opposition’s proposals in reaction to the Government’s proposals for constitutional reform, which it sent to the Venice Commission last week, without consulting with the Opposition or the civil society beforehand.
Leader Opposition Adrian Delia and Shadow Minister for Constitutional Reforms Chris Said presented the Opposition’s proposals during a press conference this evening.
These proposals see the President gaining more powers if he or she is elected by two-thirds of Parliament. Delia also spoke about the need of the three powers of the state, i.e. the executive, legislative and judicial authorities, functioning truly independently from one another. He insisted on Parliament becoming once again independent of the Government in order to fulfil its role in being a watchdog for the Government. Furthermore, he addressed the need to have a Police Commissioner who acts independently of Government and by his/her own accord.
Meanwhile, three of the main proposals put forward by the Government are that a Chief Justice is elected by two-thirds parliamentary majority, the divorce between the remit of state advocate and attorney general and the devolution of the powers of the Prime minister on to Cabinet.
The reforms are based on the recommendations made by the Venice Commission back in December 2018.
The Shadow Minister for Constitutional Reform Chris Said detailed some of the proposals put forward by the Opposition, amongst which are:
- An Anti-Corruption Commissioner should be appointed who would have the right to start court proceedings, and the Police Commissioner will act according to the Anti-Corruption Commissioner’s orders; the Opposition suggests that the Commissioner is elected by two-thirds of Parliament
- The President is elected by two-thirds of the Members of Parliament; once this is done, more power can be passed on to him/her
- The four constitutional organs, such as the Broadcasting Authority, should no longer be appointed by the Prime Minister, but split between the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister; the chairpersons should not be appointed by the PM, but by two-thirds of Parliament; if agreement is not reached, the President should intervene
- A quota on the number of persons of trust of Government
- Decisions taken by the Ombudsman which the Government fails to implement should be justified and explained in the Parliament House Business Committee
Apart from the afore-mentioned proposals, Said discussed other proposals which the Opposition had previously spoken about, such as the Attorney General and Police Commissioner being elected by two-thirds of Parliament, Members of Parliament not occupying governmental positions such as directors of institutions.
Said also mentioned the President being able to give the presidential pardon, after consulting with a technical group of experts, leaving the Cabinet out of this decision. The Opposition’s proposals also see the President being able to send a law back to Parliament once should the law defy the Constitution in any way. Another proposal is the founding of a State Council, composed of former Presidents and Prime Ministers, which occupies a consultative role.