Former Active Aging Parliamentary Secretary, Silvio Parnis, has been given another position, this time focusing on the other end of the age group spectrum, as member on the Council for Children, the Government Gazette announced on Tuesday.
Parnis was the only member of Prime Minister Robert Abela’s initial Cabinet not included in the November reshuffle, following which he had promptly announced that he would not be contesting another general election.
Falling under the Ministry for Social Solidarity and Family, which he was previously part of in his capacity as Parliamentary Secretary for Active Aging – a position he held amid a high rate of elderly deaths throughout the COVID pandemic – the role will see Parnis replacing Etienne Grech on the council.
The position’s term is currently set until March. Grech had resigned from Parliament in October.
This is not the first role given to Parnis following his exclusion from Cabinet. In December, again replacing Grech, Parnis was made chair of Parliament’s Social Affairs Committee, as a result of which he would receive a higher honorarium than other MPs.
Assigning committee positions to Cabinet members left on the bench seems to be a go-to move under Abela’s leadership, as it was with Joseph Muscat.
In January, Justyne Caruana was not given a ministerial role after she resigned following revelations of her husband Silvio Valletta’s friendship with murder suspect Yorgen Fenech. She was instead appointed Chair of a new Parliamentary Committee dedicated to Gozo Affairs, boosting her part-time €20,000 MP honoraria by an extra €10,000. In November she was reinstated in the Cabinet as Education Minister.
Former minister Joe Mizzi and former parliamentary secretary Anthony Agius Decelis were also made chairpersons of State entities.