The situation has never been more desperate.
Every hour that passes, more people within the Prime Minister’s immediate circle are being implicated in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Make no mistake about it, people within the Labour Party are just as horrified as everyone else.
Many are even more horrified than the rest of us because they are now realising they may have been used to varying degrees in the commissioning and covering up of this terrible crime.
If they haven’t yet, now is their time to stand up and start putting things right.
Muscat’s plot to distract them into a leadership race is cynical beyond belief and they simply cannot acquiesce.
The party cannot hold an election when it still does not know the extent of the rot or the players involved. Instead, Muscat should step down immediately and Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne should take over.
Fearne still enjoys the trust of many who are outraged at the situation.
If he takes over and commits to give free rein to investigators, things can slowly start getting back to a sense of normality. Perhaps he can set up an independent committee to oversee the rest of this investigation so he can focus on bringing government back on its feet and ensures no political pressure.
Fearne may be concerned about the consequences on his long-term leadership aspirations if he takes on the job today. He shouldn’t be. Failure to show leadership now and live up to his job title is what will compromise him long term.
But if it’s not him, there are other heavyweights who can also take on this role in the interim. Someone like Evarist Bartolo, for example.
All other leadership candidates should hold back at this stage. It is not fair on them to form part of a leadership race when so much is still being revealed.
The information we know so far already puts their candidature into question.
Miriam Dalli was Konrad Mizzi’s communications advisor when the LNG project was being put together.
Ian Borg’s ministry gave a job to the Prime Minister’s security detail Kenneth Camilleri who was today mentioned in court. The ministry also gave a job to the wife of Police Inspector Keith Arnaud.
Robert Abela’s wife was threatened by Keith Schembri during a Cabinet meeting.
Instead of letting Muscat pit them against each other, they should unite against him.
They should state from now that they will not be part of a leadership race until they have time to distance themselves properly from all that has happened.
It is critical that the party heeds the warnings of Socialist MEP Birgit Sippel: “Trust has been completely destroyed.”
Labour must start rebuilding that trust if they want to continue serving out their mandate from the people.
The first step is to stop letting Joseph Muscat pull the strings.
Muscat cannot be the person who grants the Malta’s Security Service permission for surveillance. He is one of the people who must be surveilled.
So anybody with some influence in the Labour Party needs to send a clear message: Muscat must go. Chris Fearne must take his place. And the leadership race must be postponed until a calmer time when the party has had time to process what really happened.
Every minute that passes without this happening is a minute in which the investigation and the prosecution can be compromised, with devastating consequences to the country and the party.
Justice must become everyone’s priority right now.
Malta needs you.