We note that despite the pointless observations by Prime Minister Robert Abela on the supposed checks and balances between the Constitutional branches, the government has now chosen to give an extensive holiday to Parliament.

This is a delicate and potentially dangerous time for the functioning of our institutions. The Courts are being asked to examine alleged criminal behaviour of officials and former senior government officials. At the same time they are under an obscene attack by the Prime Minister and the ruling party.

It is the duty of the third branch – Parliament – to monitor the government’s behaviour and to take all necessary measures to ensure that the government allows institutions to work and protect them from threats.

We are concerned to listen to the increasingly radicalised and violent threatening speech by ex-prime minister Joseph Muscat who, instead of preparing his defence like any other person accused before the Courts, is using his political power to discredit and intimidate the Courts. Instead of stopping him and defending the Courts, Robert Abela is helping him.

Now the government has closed Parliament’s doors to ensure that no institution has the means to stop or even mitigate the excesses we are entering. Robert Abela is closing a mouth to Parliamentarians, especially those from his party, who in loyalty to democracy could dare to express doubts about his conduct.

We express our condemnation that at this delicate time we have no Parliament to deliberate how the rule of law in our country should be respected.

Parliament’s premature closure is another serious sign of the increase of autocracy and the erosion of our democracy.