Robert Abela has started in his new role as Prime Minister just a few days ago and already seems to be on quite a roll. One of his promises is to cleanse Malta’s name and many have interpreted this stance as one which will tolerate no form of corruption. His initial decisions seem to be quite admired even by people from the opposite camp, i.e. the Nationalist party.
Under his leadership, we have already seen the resignation of the police commissioner, a complete disassociation with Keith Schembri and former Minister Konrad Mizzi with no cabinet. News also reports that Adrian Hillman’s contract with the Malta Gaming Authority has been terminated.
One controversial resignation under the new Prime Minister’s watch is that of former Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana. Although she resigned, it was emphasised that she had nothing to do with what her husband did.
She was forced to resign because her husband, Silvio Valletta, former deputy police commissioner had went abroad to watch a football match in the UK with murder suspect Yorgen Fenech. He was also filmed playing around in Yorgen Fenech’s high-end car. Silvio Valletta insisted that he did not commit any wrongdoing because he did not know that Yorgen Fenech was a person of interest in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation.
Justyne Caruana emphasised that she always did her job in a dedicated manner. She is now imploring for the opportunity to be able to defend her name because of her children.
Robert Abela had informed Parliament that Justyne Caruana’s resignation was accepted. Although she no longer serves as Minister for Gozo, she will still retain her parliamentary seat, since she was elected by the people.
The new Prime Minister thanked Justyne Caruana for her work in Gozo and the role she undertook as parliamentary secretary for the elderly and disabled.
Many have expressed their agreement and admiration towards this zero-tolerance approach. With that said, he still faced some criticism. Since he did not provide more information, he was criticised by both the leader of the opposition, Adrian Delia and independent Member of Parliament, Marlene Farrugia. She went on to argue that the Prime Minister’s statement does not ascertain that the investigation is not being impeded.
The resignation letter by Justyne Caruana was not published.
What do you make of this? Was Justyne Caruana’s resignation a harsh outcome? Was Robert Abela right to accept it? Let us know your opinions in the comments section below.