Malta’s former President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca has urged the Labour Party and its supporters to issue an apology to the country in the wake of more damning corruption allegations.
“Without a doubt, a soul-searching exercise is essential given all the revelations and allegations that have emerged in recent months. The Labour Party’s first step should be an apology to all those who genuinely believed in its moral credentials and supporters, and to all the people of these islands,” Coleiro Preca wrote in an opinion piece on Malta Today.
The President Emeritus, who is a former Labour Party Minister, explained that a soul-searching exercise was necessary to clearly establish what the Labour Party stands for today, and “whether it is a party that is simply power-hungry and merely directed by surveys rather than by political, social, and moral values”.
Coleiro Preca’s comments come following the arrest and charge of Keith Schembri, the former OPM chief of staff, with corruption and money laundering. Meanwhile, it has also been revealed that the owner of secret company Macbriidge, which linked to Schembri and Konrad Mizzi’s offshore accounts, is the Chinese negotiator on multimillion-euro deals involving Enemalta.
She lamented that the current environment is seeing people’s consistently decreasing trust in institutions and political parties, with tribalism and a lack of support in media structures playing a significant part.
“Trust is not a one-time acquisition. Trust has to be continuously earned and nurtured,” she said.
Coleiro Preca did note that the government has introduced some significant reform, but stressed that the government must ensure that the institutions are “guided by the principles of good governance, transparency, accountability and effective checks and balances”.
Prime Minister Robert Abela, who is also the leader of the Labour Party, has so far distanced himself for his predecessor Joseph Muscat. telling journalists that the former Prime Minister is no longer part of the government. However, he stopped short of disavowing him from the party entirely.
Coleiro Preca was the President from 2014 to 2019, during which the Panama Papers, several government scandals, and the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. During her tenure, she was often opaque when commenting on these issues, instead oftentimes calling for national unity.
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