‘President’s duty is to call on Muscat to leave now,’ Busuttil says

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Former Opposition leader and Partit Nazzjonalista leader Simon Busuttil said that President George Vella was right when in his speech on Republic Day he referred to ‘a gang’. Busuttil added that ‘that’s exactly what they are,’ referring to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and those close to him who have been linked to the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Busuttil who now sits as an Opposition MP, however, pointed out that this was not enough, and that the President’s duty was also to call on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to leave immediately. Writing on Facebook, Busuttil invited President Vella to attend the protest vigil held monthly every 16th of the month demanding truth and justice for Caruana Galizia.

‘That’s where the unity we so desperately need, must start,’ the former Opposition leader wrote on Facebook.

Busuttil referred to an interview with Chief Justice Emeritus Vincent De Gaetano which was published on The Sunday Times. Chief Justice Emeritus told the Sunday paper that he had very little patience with those who say that the President had very little power to act. He stated that certain powers and duties were implied – ‘like the power to remove a prime minister, or, indeed any minister, when their position becomes untenable.

In the interview, Dr De Gaetano said that the President has a moral duty to act, adding that the President ‘has a duty to stand up and denounce whatever could be eroding the “constitutional morality” of the country or undermining the country’s institutions.

Speaking about political responsibility, Dr De Gaetano said that when one is elected to power, the person should pursue the common good over one’s own personal interests. The Chief Justice Emeritus asserted that when politician makes a mistake in their judgement which gives rise to repercussions over the common good, one is expected to resign.