Indepth: Franco Debono lashes out at President, PM on constitutional convention role

Indepth: Franco Debono lashes out at President, PM on constitutional convention role

indepth franco debono lashes out at president pm on constitutional convention role - Indepth: Franco Debono lashes out at President, PM on constitutional convention role

Law Commissioner Franco Debono has asked whether President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca is being given the task of leading the constitutional convention as a way to “keep her quiet because she wants to run for MEP.”

Debono was interviewed on Indepth by The Malta Independent Editor-in-chief Rachel Attard.

Last week, the former PN MP accused Prime Minister Joseph Muscat of being Malta’s “most corrupt politician. He later qualified his statement by saying that, while he had been originally tasked with leading a constitutional convention, the role was now going to be given to the outgoing President who, he says, is pushing for the post.

Debono said he had not gone to the Prime Minister or Justice Minister to complain about the issue, saying that he was someone who said things publicly. “I have no obligation to report or complain with the PM and the minister. I cannot tell them what to do. They haven’t spoken to me about the convention since the election.”

Debono asked whether the appointment of Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca to lead the constitutional convention was “meritocratic.”

Did Joseph Muscat agree to let her lead the convention to keep her quiet because she wants to run for MEP, he asked. “We have to ask these questions,” he said, adding that he had no problem in seeing the convention held under the patronage of the President of Malta.

But the fact that Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca was to lead the convention when her term expires in April “shows that she has been pushing for this,” he argued.

Debono insisted that the constitutional reform was all about accountability. “Let’s not forget the Paqpaqli incident, in which people were seriously injured. Should responsibility have been shouldered by the President? In view of what happened, is the President the ideal person to lead the convention? I will not answer that question myself. What happened to meritocracy?”

Debono was also asked about a recent blog he wrote, in which he said Egrant belongs either to the Prime Minister or to someone close to him. Asked about this, Debono insisted that he was making an argument, and not a factual declaration. “Brian Tonna had said Egrant belonged to him. He is close to the Prime Minister, so this all falls within the argument that I am making.”

He insisted that his argument was different to the factual declaration made by the late Daphne Caruana Galizia, who had claimed that Egrant belonged to Michelle Muscat without having proof to back up her argument.

“I don’t know who it belongs to. I did not say it belongs to Joseph Muscaat. I said it belongs to him or or someone close to him. The ‘or’ makes all the difference.”

During the interview, Debono was also asked whether he would consider returning to the political scene, about this relationship the Nationalist Party and about why he has kept quiet about his disagreements with the current administration until now.

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