It’s long past time for Prime Minister Abela to purge his cabinet of the malefactors he inherited from his thoroughly disgraced predecessor. The fact that he won’t raises alarming red flags.
Joseph Muscat was able to brazen out every scandal with “Let the institutions work with serenity”, but Abela’s situation is very different.
Muscat didn’t have the 400+ page report of the inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia to shrug away, for one, or multiple damning reports from the National Audit Office and the Standards Commissioner that point in no uncertain terms to profoundly unethical — and in several cases, criminal — behaviour by people in Cabinet.
When you put them together, it forms a very alarming pattern where the most charitable possible explanation is incompetent leadership. At worst, Robert Abela is protecting criminals.
Justyne Caruana was found in clear breach of ethics by the Standards Commissioner, but she didn’t just abuse her power as education minister by giving large amounts of public money to her boyfriend for work someone else performed. It’s worse than that. The report recommends she be investigated by police.
Why won’t the prime minister remove her from her position of power?
Rosianne Cutajar was involved in a property deal with the accused killer of the journalist who investigated high level government corruption, from which Fenech and others were allegedly benefiting. But Cutajar didn’t just fail to declare her income from that €3 million property deal and evade paying tax on it. When asked to explain her actions, she invented a convoluted story and got her minion Charles Farrugia to lie under oath to back her up.
Why hasn’t the prime minister ejected her from the Labour parliamentary group?
Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis’s fawning chats with accused murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech are ample reason for removing him from anything to do with passing laws and weighing in on possible pardons. That and his failure to explain who paid for the French vacation he took with Joseph Muscat at a Tumas owned resort is enough to warrant his ejection from Cabinet.
Carmelo Abela was named by career criminals in connection with a bank robbery. He should have been made to resign immediately so this claim could be investigated, not left in a position of power where he might be able to influence an investigation. The Standards Commissioner also found Abela in breach of ethical standards for spending €7,000 in taxpayer’s money on ads promoting his own grinning face.
Why is this man still in Cabinet?
Ian Borg swindled a mentally ill man out of property. The magistrate who heard the minister testify under oath said he found him “very difficult to believe”. Why does Robert Abela trust this profoundly unethical man with a penchant for abusing direct orders to administer hundreds of millions of euro in public funds?
Evarist Bartolo closed his eyes and plugged his ears when told about the alleged criminal behaviour of his former chief canvasser Edward Caruana at the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools. The red flags couldn’t possibly have been any clearer, but rather than remove Caruana and call the police, the minister who would later spend his mornings making cryptic comments about other people’s corruption on Facebook simply shrugged.
Such decisions never ended anyone’s political career under Joseph Muscat, but why does Abela keep him around?
Owen Bonnici was found guilty by the Constitutional Court of violating a citizen’s human right to free expression when he was justice mminister. I’ll say that again: when he was justice minister. His resignation is long overdue. The trained lawyer is unfit for any sort of purpose.
There’s also a laundry list of minor functionaries who should have been removed long ago.
Anglu Farrugia has proven unfit for his role as parliamentary Speaker. Far from applying the rules impartially to ensure proper parliamentary procedure, he’s used his position to shield Labour MPs from the consequences of their actions.
Edward Scicluna is under criminal investigation for his role in the Vitals Global Healthcare fiasco — a deal that was tailor-made to steal massive amounts of money from taxpayers. Scicluna has no business being head of the country’s Central Bank.
Film Commissioner Johan Grech’s abusive practices were widely publicised long before the National Audit Office exposed his big spending personal fiefdom. The report was published a week and a half ago. Why hasn’t Grech been fired?
And does anyone really need to explain why the man who turned V18 into a European embarrassment is completely unfit for any role requiring payment by public funds? He doesn’t need any more direct orders. There’s plenty of room for Jason Micallef over at One ‘news’.
And then there’s the former Labour star no one wants to be seen with anymore.
Konrad Mizzi isn’t Abela’s skeleton in ‘the kitchen cabinet’. But why is he still warming a backbench rather than a hard wooden chair in a police interrogation room? There’s enough damning evidence in the NAO reports on Vitals and Electrogas to justify his immediate prosecution.
If Robert Abela can’t or won’t take action against the errant members of his own government despite clear indications of criminal activity, then it’s time to start asking him why.
What do these people have on the prime minister that makes them untouchable?