Repubblika puts forward a manifesto for ‘new republic’

Repubblika

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Rule of law NGO Repubblika held an extraordinary general meeting on Saturday morning where it discussed a manifesto for a ‘new republic’.

The NGO which was formed after the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was behind the anti-corruption protests as well as in organising the monthly vigils demanding justice for slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In the seven-point document, Repubblika published detailed proposals which tackle ethics in public life, the strengthening of the constitution through reform, making the switch to a sustainable economy, equal justice, the environment, inclusion and social justice.

“Political parties are failing to provide leadership”

Speaking to Newsbook.com.mt journalist, blogger and Repubblika activist Manuel Delia observed that the last six weeks broke the myth that the Maltese only follow political parties and that they do not care about anything except their pockets.

“The last six weeks show Maltese civil society is alive and well,” Delia said. During his presentation at St Aloysius College theatre in Birkirkara, the members of the NGO were shown a video.

The video tells a story and it needs to be told, Delia told this newsroom. ‘Judging by Labour’s unjustified triumphalism they want everyone to forget quickly,’ he remarked. The NGO will continue its work and will not stop with Muscat’s resignation. Delia highlighted that the protests will continue as often as necessary.

“Political parties are failing to provide leadership. We are taking on the job of spelling out very clearly what we expect of them,” Delia said.

Public life should be based on and guided by ethical principals

The NGO said that public life should be based on and guided by ethical principles. “In public life, the fact that unethical behavior is not expressly forbidden by law is no excuse,” the document reads. It highlighted that the presumption of innocence in a criminal sense is a different matter to the obligation of persons in public life to have an exemplary behavior.

Repubblika put forward seven principles for the good conduct in public life as proposed by by Judge Emeritus and the first chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life Lord Nolan. The principles are selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

Reflecting on the situation in Malta, the NGO said that ‘public life in our country is corroded by deep mistrust’. It added that persons in public life have the duty to be an example to the whole community with a threshold which goes beyond what is required by law. The NGO noted that persons in public life should carry the responsibility of unethical behavior. This should lead the person to either suspend themselves or resign.

“Recent experience in Malta has shown that persons in public life all too often believe that until they are condemned by a court, they can continue occupying their public position,” the NGO said.

On the Constitution

The NGO also said that the time has come for the Constitution to be examined, saying that rather than replaced it should be emended, noting that any proposals for changes should not occur as a package but should be divided into themes. Repubblika also noted that a reflection on the country’s institutions was required and one should see if a review of the Office of the President, Parliament, the Executive, Public Service, the Courts, the Police, the Armed Forces and the Regulatory Authorities was required.

Full proposals may be read here.