Was Simon Busuttil Right?

A few years following the Labour party’s second successive electoral victory, Malta finds itself in a surreal political scenario. Very few would have expected that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s legacy and status could be tarnished. Having led the Labour party to ten election wins, Joseph Muscat’s status was sealed as a Labour party legend. 

Allegations in relation to one of the most controversial murder cases the country has ever seen, implicating key members of the Prime Minister’s office, Joseph Muscat is now on the way out, with a new Labour party leader expected to take the helm in January. The controversy is tied to the fact that two key figures of Joseph Muscat’s administration were none other than Keith Schembri, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff and the former Minister for Tourism, Konrad Mizzi.

One will recall, that former Opposition leader, Dr Simon Busuttil had earmarked both individuals following the Panama papers scandal, heavily emphasising that both must resign in the name of ethical politics, during his tenure. He also heavily implied that the reason why Joseph Muscat would not ask for their resignation is that they had information about him which would have landed him in trouble. The fact that the Prime Minister’s resignation announcement quickly followed their own, raises the suspicion that their political futures were indeed linked together, something which the former Opposition leader hinted at. 

In the run-up for the last general election, Simon Busuttil’s battle cry was that Joseph Muscat was an accomplice for corruption, highlighting his inability to take action, together with allegations regarding Egrant as the main reasons for the necessary change in government. The election was once again snapped by the Labour party in a dominant fashion. Fast-forward a few years later, and it has been revealed that both Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi struck a deal for Malta’s new power station with the alleged mastermind behind the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder, Yorgen Fenech.

The mere thought that key members of the Prime Minister’s office were involved or could have known about the possible murder or murderer was enough to spark public fury with several protests taking place and high tensions across the whole country. Many have argued that it was indeed the culture of impunity which was allowed to develop under Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s tenure which led to the brutal assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

With the country now in political turmoil, some may feel that more importance should have been given to Simon Busuttil’s arguments back in the past legislature. Do you think that Simon Busuttil was right? Should he have invested such efforts in the bid to shed light on all the alleged corruption? Let us know in the comments section below.

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