No one has the right to breach the law while protesting – Farrugia

Sarah Cassar Dymond

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

No one has the right to breach the law while protesting, Speaker Anġlu Farrugia said during his annual address marking Sette Giugno Riots of 1919, and in reference to the protests which erupted last November.

At the end of last year, Malta faced a political crisis which sparked the resignation of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his chief of staff Keith Schembri and minister Konrad Mizzi after progress was made in the murder investigation of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Both Schembri and former minister Chris Cardona were arrested and questioned by the police, however, they were released without a charge.

During the scaled down ceremony on Saturday, Farrugia said that there could have been more cooperation during last year’s protests. He maintained that while citizens had every right to be on the street and protest, no one had the right to breach the law. He added that members of parliament were elected through a democratic process and represent the people. Adding that they should be protected while fulfilling their duties. Farrugia had on several occasions closed the Strangers’ Gallery amid the protests taking place outside the parliamentary building. At that time, Farrugia had beefed the security outside the building.

Tensions were running high at the time. Farrugia said that the measures were introduced after MPs were pelted with eggs and some vehicles were damaged.

Farrugia said that these were not “easy decisions” but had to be taken to ensure that business proceeded as usual.