Minister may be using his position to put off critical debate in parliament - PL
The deputy leader of the opposition said today that the Leader of the House, Carm Mifsud Bonnici, appeared to be using his position to postpone debate in Parliament on an opposition motion which criticised his actions as (then) minister of justice and home affairs.
Dr Mifsud Bonnici said during a meeting of the House Business Committee yesterday that he could not set a date when the motion would be debated, although he said the government wanted all private members' motions to be debated.
Dr Farrugia, speaking at a press conference this afternoon, said parliament was being run in a disgraceful manner and had been reduced to a farce.
Like he did at yesterday's meeting of the House Business Committee, Dr Farrugia noted that Foreign Minister Tonio Borg, when he was Leader of the House, had promised that the Opposition motion would be debated by the end of January.
Now February was almost past and no date had been set yet.
Labour whip Joe Mizzi said the prime minister was putting the interests of the Nationalist Party before the dignity of Parliament As a result, several Bill were being debated in parliament but the government was ensuring that none came up for a vote.
The debate on the Budget Measures Implementation Bill, despite its urgency, had not even started, Mr Mizzi observed. He noted, however, that this Bill had a three-month deadline.
No vote has been taken in the House since the Speaker used his casting vote in the vote at the end of the no-confidence debate at the end of January.
Mr Mizzi said Dr Mifsud Bonnici's claims that he could not set a date for the debate because MPs needed to go abroad did not hold water and only served to prolong political instability.
Opposition's motions will be debated at some point - government
In a statement, the Ministry responsible for Parliamentary Affairs said that contrary to what Dr Farrugia had claimed, the government had no difficultry to put on the agenda and debate the motions presented by the Opposition at some point.
At no point during yesterday's House Busienss Committee had the minister declared this would not be done, the ministry claimed.