Prime Minister Robert Abela has defended PL MP Rosianne Cutajar’s appointment as chair of Parliament’s health committee, dismissing suggestions that it was an example of bad governance.
Questioned by Newsbook yesterday, Abela noted that he removed Cutajar as Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms after Standards Commissioner George Hyzler flagged a breach of ethics in a property deal involving Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.
“This happened before January 2020 [when Joseph Muscat was still Prime Minister] but if by good governance, we’re understanding that there will never be any controversial episodes then that will never happen in any legislature.”
“Good governance is about how you react when faced with an example of bad governance. Had I tried to conceal objectionable episodes, I would agree that there was a lack of good governance. However, I took tough decisions and Rosianne Cutajar lost her executive role.”
He also noted that the Opposition didn’t originally object to Cutajar’s appointment when the government nominated her.
However, the PN has since announced it will boycott the health committee, accusing the government of filing the motion for Cutajar’s appointment “by stealth.”
“Robert Abela showed blatant disregard of the institutions by appointing Cutajar after she was forced to resign her Cabinet post. This shows what to expect if Robert Abela wins the next election,” the PN said.
Cutajar’s appointment to the role comes two months after she was reprimanded by Parliament for breaching ethics following an investigation by Standards Commissioner George Hyzler into her brokerage of a Mdina property deal involving Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.
Cutajar has confirmed that Fenech gave her €9,000 as a “birthday present” but insisted she was unaware she had to declare it in her assets.
Speaker Anglu Farrugia chose to “reprimand” Cutajar by informing her that the standards committee had adopted Hyzler’s report.
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