Constitutional reform committee left dormant by President Vella

Last meeting held in November 22 as Vella “lost interest”

 

Members of the bi-partisan Constitutional Reform Committee, tasked in 2018 to come up with concrete proposals to amend the island’s 60-year-old Constitution, have disputed President George Vella’s version of events regarding the lack of progress made.

Last week, in his Republic Day speech before the end of his five-year term in April, Vella admitted that no progress had been made in his mission.

He said he was prevented from continuing the process of convening a convention because, “despite all my best efforts, there was no willingness to agree on who should lead this convention”.

The President’s claims were forcefully refuted by committee members nominated by the two parties in parliament, who told The Shift that they felt “bewildered by the President’s declarations”.

Dismissing the President’s claims, one of the members told The Shift that “it is useless for the President to try to shift the blame onto others. He lost all interest in the process when Robert Abela became prime minister. He rarely convened the committee and cancelled other meetings on many occasions,” a sitting committee member from the Nationalist Party said.

A member representing the Labour Party confirmed that Vella “had no real appetite for this task and did not show much energy to kick-start the process after the pandemic.”

The last meeting of this committee, which was supposed to deliver a raft of Constitutional amendments, was held more than a year ago, in November 2022.

Malta’s President George Vella

The Committee members who spoke to The Shift on condition of anonymity also dismissed Vella’s claims of “disagreements” regarding the convention chair.

“We never even discussed the topic, let alone disagreed, as Vella stated,” the Labour representative said.

“All he did was ask for names, which we put forward as asked. The president never convened a meeting to even discuss the names put forward,” the other member confirmed.

In 2021, The Shift had already reported problems on the Constitutional Reform Committee as progress was slow.

At the time, Vella said the reason for not holding regular meetings was the pandemic, even though most of the committee sessions were being held online.

Established in 2018 under the auspices of President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, the committee had gathered significant pace and was meeting regularly until her term came to an end in April 2019.

President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca

Towards the end of her term, the former president lobbied to continue presiding over the committee and lead the process to bring it to an end, but Vella objected and blocked her initiative.

The only significant progress achieved during the Vella Presidency was a three-month public consultation process calling for suggestions by the public and constituted bodies.

Its results were published in February 2020, but no progress has been registered since then.

                           

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George Mangion
George Mangion
2 months ago

Nepotism and cronyism were the hallmark during 5 years of Presidency.
No need to mention names of nearest and dearest married in his family who created waves of opportunism and undue preferences for top jobs with MFSA , MGA and top minstries.It is no consolation that HE toured the world and greeted Maltese immigrants and dignitaries on official State visits.Remember to act generous on Stina Kamboree. .

Mick
Mick
2 months ago

Give him his cheque and get him out ASAP, put and end to this pension chasing charade.

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
2 months ago

We are missing the wood for the trees in the case of the constitutional reform. The constitution isn’t failing us. It is the constant abuse of the government when appointing people in independent institutions what is causing problems. The government intentionally appoints partisan people to protect criminal politicians from being prosecuted.. Cases in point
are the appointing of the Police Commissioner, the appointment of the Attorney General and the appointment of the Commissioner of Standards in public Life. Unfortunately, the oath taken by such people has become a joke..

Gerald
Gerald
2 months ago

I can hear loud snoring coming from the President’s office.

Mark Cassar
Mark Cassar
2 months ago

Malta managed to have the worst prime minister, the worst leader of opposition, and the worst President at one go. No mean feat.

Paul Bonello
Paul Bonello
2 months ago

The President Vella has no moral authority to steer a constitutional reform. He cozily refrained from expressing himself when he ought to and expressed himself when he ought to keep his mouth shut. Moreover members of family’s behaviour further compromised his authority. Bye bye to the dumps of history.

R Agius
R Agius
2 months ago

Vella’s presidency will be defined by the air miles collected. In spite of major political crisis he did sweet FA.

Joseph Galea
Joseph Galea
2 months ago

Worst presidency ever !!

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