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Post-election, where are we heading?

The general election has come and gone and the result is what it is. So what sort of a future for Malta should we now expect? The best indicator is to consider the first words and deeds of Joseph Muscat.

Upon re-election Dr Muscat more or less repeated what he said in 2013, namely that we are all Maltese, implying we will all be treated equally. Last time Dr Muscat highlighted meritocracy and the ability to work together despite having political differences. I need not stress how the Prime Minister did anything but govern with meritocracy in mind over the last four years.

After the recent election the Labour Party put up posters of a beaming Joseph Muscat with a message ‘We are all Malta’. However, addressing his supporters last week at the Granaries, Dr Muscat hinted that people should judge the Opposition by what it says against his government, especially in foreign fora, putting Opposition MEPs on their guard not to rock the boat.

Here Dr Muscat is of course using words more akin to the Erdogans of this world rather than a head of government of an EU country. To me that sounds very much like Dr Muscat is trying to muzzle the Opposition.

Muscat likes to blur the difference, so important in a democracy, between the governing party and the State. For him it is one and the same, except of course that in truly Western democracies it is not. It is the goings on of the previous Muscat government that so jeopardised our financial services sector and not the criticism of it.

What about the first deeds of Dr Muscat? After informing us, yet again, that he has learnt from his past mistakes, he promptly re-appointed Keith Schembri as his chief of staff and Konrad Mizzi as a Cabinet minister.

Not much of a change there and not much of “having learnt from my mistakes” so one may assume that Dr Muscat intends to govern very much as he did before, with no consideration of good governance. Of course it is possible that Dr Muscat does not consider keeping Mr Schembri and Dr Mizzi as a mistake, which of course is more worrying. Well, what Malta desperately needs is a government, which supports strong independent institutions which are meant to protect us from the misdeeds of government.

Malta needs a government that is transparent and not one that signs agreements on our behalf without having the decency to publish them for our scrutiny.

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