Minister Carmelo Abela will not refund taxpayers the €7,000 he spent on a promotional campaign which the Standards Commissioner believes was intended to boost his personal profile ahead of a Cabinet reshuffle.
Abela took to Facebook last night to say the matter has now been settled after a vote in the parliamentary committee for Standards in Public Life.
Speaker Anglu Farrugia abstained from the vote, saying he partly agreed with the Standards Commissioner but also felt there should be more regulations on political advertising. His abstention means the Standards Commissioner’s report did not get the majority it needed to be adopted by Parliament.
In his Facebook post, Abela did not make reference to the Speaker’s abstention, saying only that the parliamentary committee decided not to adopt George Hyzler’s report.
Abela also said he agreed that there should be clear guidelines on advertising by politicians.
Beneath Abela’s post, many of his supporters, including several fake profiles, called for Hyzler’s resignation. Hyzler has been under attack from many in the Labour Party who felt aggrieved by his assessment of the Abela case.
Meanwhile, Abela is facing allegations of being involved in a 2010 bank heist, something he has denied. He also sued Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi for libel.
What do you think of Abela’s reaction?