“Strip Zarb of Ġieħ ir-Republika”; President Replies

Ex-Secretary General of the Nationalist Party, Paul Borg Olivier, once again asked for that Tony Zarb is stripped of his Ġieħ ir-Republika honour  after in one of his vlogs, Zarb said that “the most important thing is that Caruana Galizia will not come back”. The President  explained that this is not a decision she can make on her own account.

This request was made in a letter to the President of Malta, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, where he said that this is a clear example of hate speech. He remarked that this sort of discourse justifies the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and the action taken by those accused of murdering her.

In his vlog, Zarb, the ex-General Workers Union Secretary General and ex-consultant in the Prime Minister’s Office, said that the Daphne Caruana Galizia mentioned Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his wife Michelle over 11,000 times.

In a letter of reply, the President of Malta said that she cannot make such a decision by herself as Chapter 251 Article 23 about the Ġieħ ir-Republika Act states that the President has to “act on a resolution  of  the  House  of  Representatives in accordance with such procedures” to revoke or terminate appointment of medal.

Zarb had likened the all-female activist group Occupy Justice to prostitutes while they were protesting in Castille Square a few weeks following Caruana Galizia’s assassination.In his letter to the President on the 27th of October 2017, Borg made reference to the aforementioned and described it as a harsh attack on a group of women protesting in front of Castille to ask for the resignation of the Police Commissioner and the Attorney General, following the brutal murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Tony Żarb was awarded Ġieħ ir-Republika in December 2015 for his efforts in pushing forward activism principles in both public and social life.

This vlog created several reactions on social media;