Parliament turns down request to dedicate hall to Daphne Caruana Galizia

Updated 05:36 PM

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A press room in the European Parliament building in Strasbourg now bears Daphne Caruana Galizia’s name, but a similar honour in Valletta’s Parliament House has been refused by Speaker Anġlu Farrugia.

Responding to a request made by Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia, Farrugia insisted that no part of Parliament should be dedicated to any person, “to avoid any hint, or even a perception, that any gesture or action could be interpreted as being not completely impartial.”

But Delia expressed his complete disagreement and in a letter, urged the Speaker to reconsider it. He recalled that Parliament had approved a motion condemning the assassination of Caruana Galizia, and said that it could not be neutral in the face of the murder of a journalist.

“The decision by the Maltese Parliament not to dedicate a hall to Daphne Caruana Galizia not only reminds me of those who seek to make us forget her legacy and who want to hinder every call for justice for her, but it also effectively fails democracy itself,” Delia said.

Maintaining neutrality essential to Parliament, Speaker replies

In his reply to Delia, Farrugia insisted that he had no wish to make people forget about the assassination, “as even through my experience as an investigator, I know how ugly and deplorable such a criminal act can be.”

He said that his decision was solely based on the need to maintain neutrality within Parliament, and emphasised that as such, he was against dedicating any part of the building to any person.

“The Chair is also guided by this principle with respect to those who worked to bring democracy to our country, those who brought us Independence, who turned us into a Republic, who worked to make us part of the EU, as well as those who have been exiled or even lost their life so that we can mark the centenary of the Maltese Parliament next year,” Farrugia said.

He said that should a hall be dedicated to any one person, questions would arise on why others did not receive a similar honour, “and a controversy will immediately arise in spite of all the good intentions behind this gesture, and in spite of all the good the person concerned would have done in their life.”