Updated: Austin Gatt dismisses rumours he will quit
Transport Minister Austin Gatt yesterday rubbished speculation that he is planning on resigning his parliamentary seat to appease rebel MP Franco Debono before Monday’s crucial Budget vote.
Dr Gatt dismissed the rumours outright, saying he would “absolutely not” be giving up his seat in the coming days and he invited those spreading such rumours to “sod off”.
Dr Debono has repeatedly said he will be voting against the Budget as long as Dr Gatt forms part of the Cabinet.
Following through on that threat in Monday’s vote will force a general election since the Budget is considered a vote of confidence and the Government holds a one-seat majority.
However, the Transport Minister had already announced that he would not be contesting the next election, ending a parliamentary career that has spanned four legislatures and three ministerial portfolios.
In a reaction, Dr Debono said that this has nothing to do with appeasement but with shouldering of political responsibility, which is not only in line with the principle of political accountability but also in line with the Prime Minister's most favourite declaration as of late that everyone must shoulder responsibility for their actions.
"If this had applied to Minister Austin Gatt he should have resigned long ago after high utility bills, BWSC, Fairmount, Arriva, ARMS and car parks scandals-cum-fiascos," Dr Debono said.