Debono confirms 'yes' vote tonight
Nationalist MP Franco Debono confirmed this morning that he will be voting with the government in the confidence vote moved by the prime minister.
"I will vote in favour" he told timesofmalta.com
The confidence vote was called on Wednesday after Dr Debono voted with the opposition in a no-confidence motion in Home Affairs Carm Mifsud Bonnici, forcing his resignation.
Dr Debono had on Wednesday evening immediately declared that he would not vote against the government in the confidence vote and the censure motion against Richard Cachia Caruana, Malta's representative to the EU.
Dr Gonzi yesterday publicly demanded a clear vote of confidence, indicating that he may call a general election.
In comments this morning, Opposition leader Joseph Muscat said: "Today's vote is a foregone conclusion in government's favour. From now on we will hold the prime minister accountable to his new benchmark, a clear vote with no abstentions."
In his comments this morning, Dr Debono also reacted to remarks made by a number of government MPs See http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20120603/local/How-should-the-party-deal-with-Dr-Debono-.422436 ). He said he wished to thank Tourism Minister Mario de Marco, whip David Agius and MPs Francis Zammit Dimech and Edwin Vassallo for the conciliatory tone of their statements.
He noted how Dr Zammit Dimech had said that Wednesday's events could have been avoided had the government agreed to debate his (Dr Debono's) motion on justice and home affairs before the opposition's motion.
Referring to Dr de Marco, Dr Debono said his remarks were significant as he and his family were synonymous with the sectors of justice and home affairs.
He also noted that Edwin Vassallo, despite comments he made in parliament, had been conciliatory in other remarks yesterday showing that 'bridges can be burnt and rebuilt'.
But Dr Debono said that remarks by Charlo' Bonnici led him to doubt whether he was really aware of what was happening in justice and home affairs. 'He should explain his expertise,' he said.
Dr Debono said his criticism had been on the merits because, as a criminal lawyer, he knew exactly what was going on. He, however, wondered if Mr Bonnici's remarks stemmed from the fact that he (Dr Debono) had criticised the power station extension, where Mr Bonnici's employer, Nazzareno Vassallo, was a sub-contractor.
As regards Mr Bonnici's team spirit, Dr Debono recalled that Mr Bonnici was an assistant to then minister Louis Galea and left the job some weeks before the last election to pursue his own electoral campaign, possibly being Dr Galea's biggest handicap before the last election. He also noted that Mr Bonnici had been given various opportunities by the government over the years, while he was not, even though, Dr Debono added, he was elected with twice Mr Bonnici's votes, and he made it from a difficult district.
As for his voting intentions today, Dr Debono said he had always been consistent that someone had to shoulder responsibility for mistakes justice and home affairs and although he had, since January, received offers to contribute to government, this accountability had to come first. From Day One I had been insisting for responsibilities to be shouldered and now something has happened in this context. In the past month I was offered opportunities to contribute more but I always refused, and insisted that what was of utmost importance was the shouldering of responsibility".
In a reply, Charlo Bonnici said he would not be threatened into silence by such regurgitated allegations. "Aren't we living in a democracy where everyone is entitled to an opinion?" he asked.