President Abela dissolves Malta’s 11th Parliament
After 536 sittings, 349 motions and 127 Bills, Malta’s 11th legislature came to an end yesterday morning, with President George Abela formally dissolving Parliament for a March 9 general election.
The dissolution notice was served at Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi’s request, following a brief visit to Dr Abela yesterday morning.
Parliament was dissolved following the Government’s failure to muster a majority in last November’s Budget vote, which Dr Gonzi had also tied to a confidence vote.
Speaking immediately after his meeting with the President, Dr Gonzi yesterday hoped for a “constructive” campaign and joined his direct adversary, Opposition leader Joseph Muscat, in calling for serene campaigning, “so that after March 9 the country will continue moving forward”.
“Of course, it’s not going to be a walk in the park, because a lot is at stake. The people must decide what party, what vision, what political philosophy they want to put their faith in for the next five years,” he said.
Dr Gonzi declined to speculate on what would happen if, during the coming weeks, the Commission for the Administration for Justice found grounds to impeach Judge Lino Farrugia Sacco.
“It’s an extremely delicate process, and any word out of place could be damaging. Let the Commission do its job and the Constitution will then determine how to proceed,” the Prime Minister said.
Dr Gonzi publicly called for Dr Farrugia Sacco’s resignation after the International Olympic Committee criticised the judge in his role as Malta Olympic Committee president after an undercover operation by journalists from The Sunday Times of London posing as ticket buyers.
Electoral Commissioner Saviour Gauci and his eight Commission members will now begin cranking up the electoral wheel, with some 330,000 voting documents to be distributed over the next nine weeks. For 19,000 of those voters, March 9 will be their first taste of the ballot box.