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Temporary committee to take over at Mtarfa

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi yesterday recommended the dissolution of the Mtarfa council to President Eddie Fenech Adami in view of problems that have left the council unable to function.

The government will be appointing a committee to serve as a council until a new council is elected.

In a statement, the government said that the Mtarfa council has been continuously disregarding the provisions of the Local Councils Act which, among others, stipulates that councils meet at least once a month. The Mtarfa council has not met since November.

The council, led by mayor Josephine Abela, is the third to be dissolved since councils were introduced 15 years ago. The other two were Sannat and Paola. It was led by a majority of Labour councillors.

The government said that the council had not managed to reach a compromise on the appointment of an executive secretary. It had been given several warnings, also after having been given guidelines by the Director of Local Government who called a meeting for all the councillors on October 9, last year.

Fresh elections now have to be held within a month. Elected councillors would serve a one-year term, as opposed to three, since the next local election at Mtarfa is scheduled for March 2009.

The Prime Minister also warned other councils which are facing similar problems that such situations would no longer be tolerated since councillors have a public function to execute according to law.

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