L-awtonomija amministrattiva tal-Parlament

Malta Parliament

 

Il-Parlament jerġa’ jiltaqa’ llum, wara l-waqfa għall-btajjel tal-Milied.

Fuq quddiem fl-aġenda tal-lejla hemm għad-diskussjoni abbozz ta’ liġi dwar is-servizz Parlamentari. Permezz ta’ din il-liġi, meta tkun approvata, l-Parlament ser jingħata l-awtonomija amministrattiva.

Din hi inizjattiva li ilha li bdiet is-snin, miż-żmien li kien Speaker Anton Tabone, imma ngħatat spinta kbira mill-iSpeaker Michael Frendo. L-iSpeaker attwali Anġlu Farrugia wassal il-proposta sal-punt tal-lum.

L-abbozz ta’ liġi jipprovdi għall-ingaġġ tal-impjegati tal-Parlament, li ser jkun separat minn dak tas-servizz pubbliku, kif ukoll jipprovdi għal budget tal-Parlament li jkun wieħed approvat mill-Parlament separatament mill-budget normali.

F’Settembru 2012, Tonio Borg li dakinnhar kien Ministru għall-Affarijiet tal-Parlament kien ħareġ White Paper intitolata : Il-Parlament Malti: Iktar Awtonomija Iktar Responsabbiltà.

L-awtonomija amministrattiva tal-Parlament hi pass fid-direzzjoni tajba. Xi darba ma tafx kif, forsi jirrealizzaw ukoll li ilu li wasal iż-żmien li l-membri parlamentari jeħtieġ li jkunu kollha fulltimers.

Imma issa drajna nimxu bil-mod. Fl-aħħar imma naslu ukoll!

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Reflections from Carthage

Tunisia-Med

 

At the University of Carthage in Tunisia between Thursday and today the international community has been engaging with Tunisian civil society. The Fifth Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy – Decentralisation by Participation exchanged views and experiences with all sectors of Tunisian civil society: young people, women and trade unionists were at the forefront, with very passionate views on the Tunisian roadmap to democracy.

Why has the Arab Spring in Tunisia provided different results from those reaped in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria?

Yahd Ben Anchour, lawyer, former Chairman of the High Commission for the Preservation of the Revolution, and charged with overseeing  constitutional reform in a post Ben Ali Tunisia, emphasised the fact that the roots of this more successful outcome can be traced to a number of policy decisions in the late 1950s. The then Tunisian strongman Habib Bourguiba had championed free access to education, including higher education. He had, moreover, championed gender equality right from the first days of independence.  Tackling these issues made Bourguiba an exception in the Arab world.

From outside Tunisia, Bourguiba’s personality cult, the large scale clientelism over the years as well as the leadership of a one party-state naturally overshadowed his otherwise significant  social achievements, which are considered by many as the essential building blocks of today’s Tunisia civil society.

Even though a number of Tunisian women are still shackled by tradition, the number of them active in public life is impressive. It is this exceptionalism which has given the Arab Spring in Tunisia the edge over neighbouring countries and consequently the reasonable chance of success.

Mohammed Bouazizi’s  self immolation and subsequent death on the 4 January 2011 brought together all those dissatisfied with the Tunisian regime, leading to its downfall and laying the foundations for the first democratic state in the Arabic family of nations.

The debate in the Global Forum focused on the discontinuity of the electoral process in contrast to the permanence of political dialogue and participation. In a society which has rediscovered its hold over its own destiny, it is emphasised that political participation bridges the gaps of political time and goes beyond political monoplies. All Tunisian participants emphasised the fact that direct democracy reinforces – and is complimentary to – representative democracy.

Power originates from the people, who ultimately remain its sole arbitror. This can be done through referenda, not just to delete legislation but also to propose measures which the elected representatives did not consider necessary.

It is an ongoing debate that sees young people, women and trade unionists together with a new generation  of political activists debating the next steps to be taken by a democratic Tunisia.

It is in Malta’s interest to nurture this democratic development on our southern borders. We are not accustomed to having this type of neighbour!   During a recent meeting with Tunisian Premier Habib Essid, Malta’s Foreign Minister George Vella stated that Malta was willing to support Tunisia’s democratic process.  Back in 2012, in the first months after the revolution, Michael Frendo, then Speaker of Malta’s House of Representatives,  had also been in Tunisia, offering Malta’s  hand of friendship and cooperation to our neighbours.

Some positive developments for a change to our south.

Published in The Independent on Sunday : 17 May 2015

Ngħidu prosit?

Il-Kap tal-Verifika Interna tal-Gvern (Internal Audit and Investigations) qed tiġi investigata fuq allegazzjonijiet ippubblikati mill-gazzetta Malta Today li ħadmet bħala konsulenta u tat pariri lil ditta barranija dwar il-possibilita’ ta’ xiri tal-Casino di Venezia. Il-Kap taċ-Ċivil kellu jagħmel investigazzjoni!

Fiex waslet din l-investigazzjoni ma nafx. Nistennew u naraw xi skużi ser jinġiebu!

Issa ħarġet waħda aħjar! Fil-Parlament intqal li l-Ombudsman (il-Prim Imħallef Emeritus Dr Joseph Said Pullicino) filwaqt li hemm l-obbligu li ma jagħmel l-ebda xogħol barrani kien qed jagħmel xogħol ta’ arbitraġġ fiċ-Ċentru ta’ Arbitraġġ.

L-Ombudsman meta mistoqsi dwar dan ikkonferma u qal li dak li kien qed jagħmel seta jagħmlu.

Dan kollu irriżulta minn mistoqsija Parlamentari ta’ Helena Dalli lill-Ispeaker li ġiet imwieġba nhar is-6 ta’ Novembru 2012. Mid-dokumenti li  gew ippubblikati mill-Ispeaker liema dokumenti jikkonsistu f’ittri mktuba mill-Ombudsman, l-Ispeaker u l-Avukat tal-Ispeaker jirrizulta ħafna logħob bil-kliem jekk il-kliem preċiż tal-liġi tal-Ombudsman huwiex ċar li din il-ħidma (ta’ arbitraġġ) tal-Ombudsman ma tistax issir.

L-Ombudsman il-Prim Imħallef Emeritus Dr Joseph Said Pullicino jgħid li dak li għamel seta jagħmlu. L-avukat tal-Ispeaker jaqbel miegħu u jgħid li l-liġi tagħti lok għal interpretazzjonijiet varji.

In vista ta’ dan kollu u wara li nxteħet dubju li seta kien hemm konflitt mal-kariga li jokkupa l-Ombudsman iddeċieda li ma jaċcettax iktar inkarigi li jagħmilha ta’ arbitru. L-Ispeaker nhar is-6 ta’ Novembru 2012 informa lill-Ombudsman bil-miktub u qallu hekk:

“Jiena tal-fehma li fl-aħjar interess tal-uffiċċju tal-Ombudsman u tal-fiduċja pubblika f’tali uffiċċju, sabiex ikun evitat kull ekwivoku jkun għaqli li l-Ombudsman u l-Kummissarji nominati taħt l-Att dwar l-Ombudsman m’għandhom jagħmlu l-ebda ħidma oħra għall-qliegħ jew rikompens iehor, anki jekk din il-ħidma ssir b’mod okkazjonali.”

Qegħdin tajjeb. Dawk li ġew maħtur biex jgħassu għandhom bżonn ikunu mgħassa huma!  L-ewwel l-awditur intern tal-Gvern u issa l-Ombudsman.

Naħseb li la l-Prim Imħallef Emeritus Joseph Said Pullicino u l-anqas is-Segretarju Permanenti fl-Uffiċċju tal-Prim Ministru inkarigata mill-Verifika Interna m’huma ser jirreżenjaw. Bil-kemm ma jistennewx li ngħidulhom prosit.

Qiesu ma ġara xejn! Dawn huma l-valuri godda tal-pajjiz.

Is-7 ta’ Ġunju : biex insarfu r-rieda popolari

Illum is-7 ta’ Ġunju infakkru ġrajja meta l-poplu Malti qam. Għolla rasu u l-irvell li irriżulta wassal għal l-ewwel Parlament Malti.

L-Ispeaker Michael Frendo din is-sena għamel diskors meqjus dwar il-ħtieġa li l-Parlament jiffunzjona dejjem aħjar.  Michael, kif ilni nafu għal iktar minn 50 sena, ħa bosta inizzjattivi kemm ilu Speaker. Bħala riżultat tagħhom il-Parlament mexa aħjar. Kien hemm xi okkazjonijiet fejn iffaċċa diffikultajiet bħal meta kien hemm min sema’ lil Justyn Caruana d-Deputata Għawdxija tivvota mod u mhux ieħor. Inċident li wassal biex ġie mwaqqaf il-proċess tal-Kumitat Magħżul tal-Kamra li kien qed jiddiskuti bosta materji ta’ importanza. Materji li ilhom jiġu diskussi imma jidher li qajla hemm rieda li jiċċaqalqu. Għalhekk, naħseb jien, ma l-iċken opportunita ikun hemm min iħoss l-utilita’ li jwaqqaf il-proċess.

Is-7 ta’ Ġunju 1919 wassal lil missierietna biex fl-1921 eleġġew l-ewwel Parlament Malti. Kien Parlament b’ħafna kuluri:  4  partiti fl-Assemblea Leġislattiva u 3 minnhom fis-Senat.

Iż-żminijiet inbidlu u l-Partiti tal-lum li qegħdin fil-Parlament għad għandhom ħeġġa kbira għar-rappresentanza  proporzjonali, imma din il-ħeġġa qegħda hemm biss sakemm teffettwa lilhom. Għalhekk bagħbsu l-Kostituzzjoni diversi drabi biex jassiguraw li bejniethom jaqsmu. Imma qagħdu attenti li jieqfu hemm.

Infakkar għal darba oħra li Alternattiva Demokratika ippreżentat proposta quddiem il-Kumitat Magħżul tal-Kamra biex dak li ġie mbagħbas fil-Kostituzzjoni mill-PN u l-PL flimkien, jissewwa’ . Biex ir-rappresentanza proporzjonali tkun tapplika għal kulħadd. Mhux għalihom biss.

F’Malta għandna sistema elettorali li f’Marzu 2008 ippremjat lill-PN b’siġġu parlamentari extra għall-1580 vot li l-PN kellu iktar mill-PL fl-aħħar elezzjoni ġenerali. Imma l-istess sistema elettorali tagħmilha possibli li t-3810 vot li ġiebet Alternattiva Demokratika ma jkunux rappreżentati.

Dan il-PN u l-PL ma jridux jibdluh.

Il-proporzjonalita’ m’għandhiex tibqa’ privileġġ tal-PN u l-PL iżda strument biex tissarraf ir-rieda popolari.

Fuq dan il-blog tista’ tara ukoll is-segwenti :

17/09/2008 : Electoral reform

21/06/2010 :  AD protests in Court on discriminatory electoral legislation

23/06/2010 : AD discusses electoral reform with Speaker Michael Frendo