Joseph tweets a selfie from Girgenti

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A week ago, during a short break from a very “fruitful” meeting of the Labour Party Parliamentary Group, Joseph Muscat, the Prime Minister, tweeted a selfie. The selfie included a number of hangers-on who promptly re-tweeted Joseph’s selfie, announcing to one and all that the Labour Party Parliamentary Group was meeting at Girgenti, the Prime Minister’s official residence in the countryside.

In the tweeted selfie, standing in the front row, perched between Planning Parliamentary Secretary Deborah Schembri and Civil Rights Minister Helena Dalli stands Justice Minister Owen Bonnici, the Cabinet member who around 18 months ago piloted the Financing of Political Parties Act through Parliament  Throughout the past months, the Honourable Owen Bonnici rightly proclaimed this as a milestone. How come his own government and his own political party ignored the implementation of this milestone?

It seems that Joseph, the tweeter from Girgenti, was either not properly advised of the implications of this landmark  legislation or else ignored completely the advice he received.

On Tuesday I visited the offices of the Electoral Commission and met Joseph Church, the Chief Electoral Commissioner. Together with my colleague Arnold Cassola, I drew the attention of Mr Church to the fact that the Parliamentary Labour Party was making use of government property contrary to the provisions of the Financing of Political Parties Act. On behalf of Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party in Malta, we requested that Joseph Muscat and his Labour Party be investigated for acting against the provisions of the landmark legislation: Joseph Muscat for permitting the use of the Girgenti Palace and the Labour Party for accepting to use it as a venue for one of the meetings of its Parliamentary Group.

As I have already explained during a Press Conference held after the meeting with the Chief Electoral Commissioner, as well as in the daily edition of this newspaper [Girgenti: demarcation line between party and state. TMI 23 February] the use of the Girgenti Palace is deemed to be a donation, which in terms of article 34 of the Financing of Political Parties Act is not permissible to be received by a political party from the state. Joseph Muscat the Prime Minister could not grant such a donation, and Joseph Muscat the Leader of the Labour Party could not accept it.

Unfortunately, this incident communicated by tweet sends a very clear and negative message: that Joseph Muscat and his Labour Party consider themselves to be above the law. The law which they rightly described as being a “landmark legislation” was intended to apply to one and all.  Joseph Muscat and his Labour Party seem to think otherwise. In fact, the Labour Party is not even yet registered as a political party as the Electoral Commission, some months back, considered that it does not satisfy the conditions laid down in the legislation.

Some may consider that Alternattiva Demokratika is splitting hairs when raising the matter. I beg to differ, as a very basic principle is at stake: the demarcation line separating the government from the governing political party. This is what lies at the core of the complaint submitted by the Greens to the Chief Electoral Commissioner for an investigation in terms of the provisions of the Financing of Political Parties Act.

I am informed that the Electoral Commission will be meeting next Wednesday when it is expected to consider the request to investigate Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his political party for ignoring the provisions of the Financing of Political Parties Act.  It is the moment of truth for the Electoral Commission. Eight out of nine of its members are political appointees: four nominated by the Prime Minister and another four nominated by the Leader of the Opposition. The ninth member of the Commission is the chairman, a senior civil servant.

It is time for all nine members of the Electoral Commission to stand up and be counted. As a constitutional body, it is the Commission’s duty to defend the values of a modern day parliamentary democracy. Whether it will do so is anybody’s guess. I will definitely not hold my breath.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday : 26 February 2017

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Id-disgħa li huma kontra?

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Ma kontx nistenna aħjar minn 8 minnhom.

Imma kont nistenna li l-Ministru Helena Dalli tkun taħsiba mod ieħor dwar il-Morning After Pill. Forsi mhiex l-aħħar kelma tagħha. Nittama, għax fil-Partit Laburista, hi waħda mill-ftit b’rashom fuq għonqhom.

Il-kampanja favur il-Morning After Pill għandha l-appoġġ ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika għax din tagħti kontroll iktar lill-mara Maltija fuq x’tagħmel b’ħajjitha. Hu kontroll li huwa meħtieġ li jkun f’idejn il-mara u f’idejn ħadd iktar.

Nifhem li hemm min ma jaqbilx u nirrispetta l-opinjoni ta’ dawn. Imma tajjeb li jkun emfasizzat li l-użu tal-Morning After Pill m’huwiex appoġġ għal abort. Għall-abort kimiku hemm pilloli oħra (differenti mill-Morning After Pill) li ħadd ma huwa qed jitkellem favur tagħhom.

L-introduzzjoni uffiċjali f’Malta tal-pillola kontraċettiva t’emerġenza [Morning After Pill] tista’ tgħin mara f’mumenti t’emerġenza, imma, kif qalu tant tajjeb Claire Azzopardi Lane u Anna Azzopardi fl-istqarrija li ħarġet Alternattiva Demokratika, din mhiex ser issolvi l-problemi moħbija ta’ natura psikosoċjali li jistgħu jkunu l-kawża ta’ tqala mhux mixtieqa jew mhux ippjanata.

L-introduzzjoni tal-pillola kontraċettiva t’emerġenza [Morning After Pill] għandha tkun parti minn strateġija fit-tul li jkollha fil-mira tagħha riforma mill-qiegħ tal-politika dwar is-saħħa sesswali tal-poplu Malti: kampanja li trid tibda minn edukazzjoni sesswali posittiva bbażata fuq ir-rispett reċiproku bejn il-mara u r-raġel.

Huwa ħażin, kif anke emfasizzaw Claire u Anna fl-istqarrija tal-bieraħ ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika, li ħafna drabi kwistjonijiet ta’ kontraċezzjoni u saħħa sesswali feminili jiġu mpenġija f’dawl negattiv. Għax din l-attitudni negattiva tista’ twaqqaf lin-nisa, b’mod partkolari lil dawk ta’ età żgħira, milli jfittxu l-għajnuna li jkollhom bżonn.

Hemm bżonn li nxammru l-kmiem biex nokkupaw l-ispazju li presentement huwa okkupat minn xi fundamentalisti li ħlief ħsara m’għamlux. Pajjiżna jixraqlu aħjar.

Il-Volkswagen f’Malta: qiesu ma ġara xejn

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Fid-dinja kollha kulħadd sema bl-iskandlu tal-Volkswagen. Kif ġie imbgħabas l-apparat tal-kontroll tal-emissjonijiet ta’ diversi mudelli ta’ karozzi tul dawn l-aħħar sitt snin.

F’diversi pajjiżi l-awtoritajiet kompetenti qed jieħdu passi biex jipproteġu l-interessi tal-konsumaturi li ġew imqarrqa.

F’Malta l-awtorità responsabbli għall-konsumatur iżda hi friska bħal ħassa.

Jidher li qiesu ma ġara xejn.

Kemm hawn minn dawn il-karozzi fit-toroq tagħna? X’passi ser jittieħdu?

Mhux biss l-awtorità hi siekta. Anke l-Ministru Helena Dalli ma jidhirx li tniffset.

Anke l-Awtorità dwar it-Trasport. Għaliha ukoll qiesu ma ġara xejn.

 

L-insistenza tal-PN biex tirriżenja Helena Dalli

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Il-PN, permezz ta’ Ryan Callus, qed jinsisti li Helena Dalli għandha tirriżenja minħabba xi xogħol mhux kopert bil-permessi tal-bini fi propjeta ta’ Kumpanija ta’ żewġha Patrick, liema kumpanija iżda hi imniżżla fid-dikjarazzjoni tal- assi li Helena Dalli tippreżenta kull sena bħala Ministru.

Dak li qed jgħid Ryan Callus hu irregolarita’. M’hemmx dubju dwaru. Huwa responsabbli għal din l-irregolarita l-Management tal-kumpanija PADA Limited, sakemm il-propjeta’ tibqa’ tagħha. M’hiex xi ħaġa li qed tiġri l-ewwel darba. Sfortunatament hemm diversi li jaġixxu b’dan il-mod. L-ewwel jibnu u mbagħad jippruvaw jiksbu l-permess.

Il-punt iżda hu jekk Helena Dalli għandiex xi responsabilta’ għal dak li ġara. Jiena naħseb li l-Partit Nazzjonalista qed jitqanżaħ ftit mhux ħażin għax ma hemm l-ebda mod kif Helena Dalli setgħet kellha xi influwenza fuq il-każ la b’mod dirett u l-anqas b’mod indirett. Ma tistax u m’għandiex tiġi sfurzata terfa’ responsabbilta’ għal dak li għamel jew m’għamilx żewġha fix-xogħol normali tiegħu.

Ara kieku Helena Dalli kienet Direttur tal-kumpanija PADA Ltd il-każ kien ikun wieħed differenti. Imma imbagħad wara kollox din hi r-raġuni l-għaliex il-Kodiċi tal-Etika tal-Ministri jipprojibixxi lil Ministri u Segretarji Parlamentari milli jkunu diretturi ta’ xi entita’, tkun xi tkun, jew li jagħmlu xogħol ieħor waqt li jkunu qed jaqdu d-doveri Ministerjali tagħhom. B’hekk ikunu distakkati minn inċidenti bħal dawn.

Helena Dalli l-anqas ma għandha responsabbilta’ politika għall-ippjanar fl-użu tal-art. Li kellha responsabbilta’ bħal din il-posizzjoni tagħha kienet tkun waħda diffiċli biex tkun difiża.

Esaġerazzjonijiet bħala dawn da parti tal-Partit Nazzjonalista idgħajfu t-talbiet għal riżenja f’każi serji u ġustifikabbli bħal ma hu dak tal-Ministru Manwel Mallia. Għax ngħiduha kif inhi, f’dan il-pajjiż m’hawnx kultura ta’ riżenja. Il-politiku ma jħossx li għandu jerfa’ responsabbilta’ għall-oqsma li għalihom hu responsabbli. Meta imbagħad jitfaċċa  każ imġebbed u mqanżaħ bħal dan ta’ Helena Dalli,  l-PN ikun qed iwassal il-messaġġ li m’għandux idea x’inhu jgħid inkella li jinteressah biss fil-milage politiku.

Għax għalija hu ċar li fil-każ ta’ PADA Limited ma hemm l-ebda raġuni l-għaliex Helena Dalli għandha tirriżenja. Hemm min għandu jwieġeb, imma m’hiex hi iżda żewgha Patrick u l-MEPA.

F’dan is-sens hu pass tajjeb li l-Opposizzjoni talbet l-uffiċċju tal-Ombudsman biex jinvestiga l-każ dwar l-Ordni tal-Infurzar u kemm dan ġie jew ma ġiex osservat. Kien ikun ħafna aħjar kieku l-Opposizzjoni bdiet minn hawn flok qabdet tparla fil-vojt.

Le għall-Ikel modifikat ġenetikament

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Għadni kif wasalt lura d-dar minn sehem għan-nom ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika fid-dimostrazzjoni kontra l-ikel ġenetikament modifikat. Kien hemm attendenza sabiħa għax dawk li huma konxji minn l-impatti tal-logħob bil-ġenetika tal-ikel huwa numru li qiegħed dejjem jikber.

Minbarra l-Alternattiva Demokratika kien hemm preżenti it-Tabib Joseph Cassar, ex-Ministru tas-Saħħa, l-Ministru tas-Saħħa attwali Godfrey Farrugia, l-Ministru tas-Solidarjeta’ Soċjali Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca u l–Ministru tad-Djalogu Soċjali (u Ħarsien tal-Konsumatur) Helena Dalli. Kien hemm preżenti ukoll rappreżentanti ta’ bosta NGOs inklużi NGOs ambjentali.

L-ikel genetikament modifikat hu l-kawża ta’ ruxxmata allerġiji, mard u infertilita.

Il-logħob bil-ġenetika għandu impatt fuq l-agrikultura, is-saħħa, l-biodiversita’ u l-kwalita’ tal-ħajja tagħna ilkoll.

Għalhekk dalgħodu ltqajna biex nipprotestaw. Ipprotestaw ukoll bħalna f’tal-inqas 40 pajjiż ieħor. Biex is-saħħa tal-flus ta’ dawk li jipproduċu l-ikel ġenetikament modifikat ma tibqax tkisser lil kulħadd.