Labour MP Silvio Parnis has expressed his sadness and anger after losing his portfolio in last weekend’s Cabinet reshuffle, saying Prime Minister Robert Abela “hurt me, my family, my friends and those around me”.
“I feel as though my political career has ended,” Parnis told iNewsMalta. “How am I expected to contest an election if I cannot help people? How can I contest an election when I’m up against two horses who can still serve people?”
In his previous role as parliamentary secretary for active ageing, Parnis faced criticism for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis at elderly care homes as well as calls by the Nationalist Party for his resignation.
He has now been replaced by Michael Farrugia and the elderly care portfolio has been elevated to a Ministry.
Parnis said Abela offered to put him in charge of local councils but he rejected this offer because he didn’t feel he did anything wrong in his role in charge of the elderly sector.
“I merely followed the health guidelines, and anyone else would have acted the same way I did. I told the Prime Minister I wasn’t ready to move down a step after all the work I did.”
Parnis suggested Abela might have been conditioned by the Nationalist Party, telling the Prime Minister to “be careful, because MPs are made to resign whenever the Opposition or Occupy Justice points a finger at them”
“If ministers had to resign because they couldn’t succeed during the pandemic, does that mean ministers in charge of the tourism, education and elderly sectors must resign the whole world over? Or is Malta the exception?”
He said he won’t contest the next general election, despite surveys showing his district support was growing.
“I won’t harm the party and the Prime Minister. I’m hurt but I have to look to the future after 23 years in Parliament.”
What do you make of Silvio Parnis’ comments?