Repubblika is very concerned about the contempt that Prime Minister Robert Abela is showing to the institutions of the country and the grave way in which he is crushing their independence.
The behavior of the Prime Minister towards Parliament was really contemptible. Robert Abela submitted amendments to the Opposition’s motion regarding the public inquiry in the case of Jean Paul Sofia. Robert Abela spoke in Parliament to give the reasons why a public inquiry should not be held. Robert Abela voted in favor of the amendments that removed the reference to the public inquiry.
Despite this, only five days after Parliament’s vote, because it suited him, Robert Abela ordered a public inquiry contrary to what he said in Parliament and what Parliament decided based on what he said.
Parliament is not a club that the Prime Minister can ignore as and when he sees fit. If we take this route, we can abolish Parliament and make Robert Abela a dictator.
The contempt that Robert Abela is showing towards the judiciary is just as worrying. The pressure on an inquiring magistrate that is being brought as an excuse for the failure of the police is an outrage on the independence of the magistrate. Robert Abela’s letters to the Chief Justice to punish the magistrate are an abuse of the entire judiciary who are advised that apart from the disciplinary processes contemplated in the constitution, judges are now also subject to letters of reprimand and admonition by the Prime Minister.
Yesterday the Prime Minister said publicly that he decided to call a public inquiry because he does not want to be “hostage to the Courts”. Although as everyone knows we wanted a public inquiry from the beginning, we can never accept the idea that the government, or whoever it is, takes the law into their own hands because they are bored waiting for the Court. Robert Abela does not have the power to form courts to replace the Courts established by the constitution. If he did, we can get rid of the Courts and make him a dictator.
This behavior makes Robert Abela’s conduct worse in this case. When he ignored the family of Jean Paul Sofia and when he did a concert and traveled by yacht in the middle of a crisis, Robert Abela showed himself to be heartless. When he tried to discredit the public inquiry process with lies in Parliament and outside it, Robert Abela compromised himself in the effort to cover up someone who could be found responsible by a public inquiry.
But when he overrides Parliament and when he bullies the judges, Robert Abela is threatening in the clearest way the rotten roots of what is left of our democracy.