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  • Writer's pictureAndré Delicata

Robert Abela's government is in a crisis

There can be no doubt that the Labour government is in a crisis. With key figures within the Labour Party, and within its government standing accused of serious crimes, Prime Minister Robert Abela is having a hard time holding things together, not least because of his childish personality.

His solution is to pin the Labour Party's woes onto Magistrate Gabriella Vella, who conducted a pain-staking, diligent, inquiry lasting some four and a half years, and costing €10,000,000 in court experts, and which found enough evidence to have these key figures within the Labour Party arraigned on serious charges.

It is puerile to consider that the accusations are made up. No magistrate would put his or her credibility on the line for partisan reasons. Moreover, Magistrate Gabriella Vella - a senior magistrate - has been a magistrate for fifteen years, and there has never been a whisper or whimper questioning her integrity.

Abela went floridly ballistic when the inquiry report was handed in to the Attorney General, and even more so when some of the damning conclusions of the inquiry became known. He and the Labour Party went into overdrive, discrediting the report by citing partisan influence on the part of the magistrate. In the process, they discredited the judiciary - the gatekeepers of the Rule of Law and justice - and transformed the magistrate into a target, plastering her face wherever they could.

For Abela, the inquiry report is a sham. An enemy of the Labour Party was created - the establishment, of which the judiciary - including and especially Magistrate Gabriella Vella - forms a part, together with elements within the Opposition Party that control this "establishment".

Abela deftly transformed himself into a "check and balance", overseeing the third pillar of democracy. Abela is not a check and balance, even though he spearheads the executive. The fourth pillar of democracy - the media - also came under fire from him.

In doing so, he earned criticism from academics, university students, the Chamber of Advocates, NGOs, The Institute of Financial Services Practitioners, the Malta Institute of Accountants, the Malta Institute of Taxation, and the Society of Trusts & Estate Practitioners, The Malta Employers’ Association, The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, as well as the Malta Chamber of SMEs, ex-Chief Justice Said Pullicino, and the President of the Republic.

Abela went even more ballistic when Deputy Prime Minister Fearne, who is also to be arraigned resigned, revealing the first substantial crack within the Labour Party, and the second tangible sign that he was not managing to hold things together (the first one being his despicable actions immediately it became known that key figures within the party he heads were to be arraigned).

The truth of the matter is that Abela's government is facing an unprecedented crisis, and the only solution he can come up with is an attack on the basic elements of democracy. This should not be acceptable to anyone who believes in democracy. A democracy is not defined only by having an election every five years - that happens in Putin's Russia too. A democracy is defined as one by its upkeep of the Rule of Law, justice, law and order, and human rights. Yet Robert Abela would like to install Mob Rule instead of Rule of Law, discredit and thwart the justice system, while asserting his control over the forces of law and order.

The country is in a sorry state, and things are only going to worse if Robert Abela continues his march in the direction he has decided to take. Democracy is at stake. Democracy's resilience has its limits, and we are fast approaching these limits.

It is up to us, civil society, the public at large, to ensure that this does not happen.


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