Sources close to the government have confirmed to Newsbook.com.mt that it was Prime Minister Robert Abela himself who nominated Konrad Mizzi to head the Maltese Delegation to the Organisation on Security and Co-operation in Europe, the OSCE. The same sources said that it was PM Abela who personally chose government MPs who were given other roles.
Newsbook.com.mt has requested the reaction of the Office of the Prime Minister and this will be published when it is given.
PN protests and Government beats a retreat
The opposition Partit Nazzjonalista objected, immediately and forcefully, against this nomination. The rule of law NGO Repubblika too, reacted and announced a protest in front of the Auberge de Castille on Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, the government announced the retraction of the motion to nominate Konrad Mizzi as head of the OSCE delegation. In a statement, early Tuesday morning, the government said that it was seeking legal advice on the validity of a consultancy contract given to Mizzi by the Malta Tourism Authority in December 2019.
Labour MPs react
Members of the government parliamentary group who wished to remain anonymous expressed their surprise with Newsbook.com.mt for what they described as ‘a major u-turn’ by Prime Minister Robert Abela. They said that he seems to have beat a hasty retreat after the first whiff of pressure from the Partit Nazzjonalista and from civil society.
A Labour activist who has been working the hustings since the 1992 elections told Newsbook.com.mt that these first weeks of Robert Abela’s premiership are ‘a test on how he will be behaving towards the loyal Labour Party members’. The activist said that ‘several’ in the Partit Laburista are not comfortable with the way persons who they perceive as ‘having given their all for the party are being shunted aside overnight’. The activist expressed disappointment that ‘good decisions are being overturned by the Prime Minister the moment civil society opens its mouth’. According to the activist, this weakens the Prime Minister.