The distribution of multiple cheques to every household by the Labour Government on the eve of the general election is more than abusing the power of incumbency. Through the said distribution, the power of incumbency is being transformed into a corrupt practice, specifically intended to unduly influence voters.
What, in normal circumstances should be a simple administrative act is being transformed into blatant political propaganda, at public expense, straight into your letterbox. A covering letter signed by Robert Abela and Clyde Caruana says it all. A Banana Republic in all but name!
Why should such handouts be distributed on the eve of elections if not to influence voters?
Even if one were to accept that such handouts are acceptable, it is certainly not in any way justifiable to plan their distribution specifically on the eve of an election. This goes against the basic principles of good governance.
The power of incumbency is the executive power of a government seeking re-election. Incumbents always have an advantage. The manner in which they handle it defines their governance credentials.
This has been a government characterised by bad governance throughout its term in office. Right from the very beginning, on 13 March 2013. I consider the full 9 years as one continuum. This was reinforced by Robert Abela himself who emphasised that his leadership of the Labour Party seeks to continue the “achievements” of his predecessor and mentor Joseph Muscat. Continuity was his declared mission.
On its first days in office, Labour started off on its Panama tracks. The secret Panama companies set up by Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri and someone else, known as the (mysterious) owner of Egrant, went on to rock Labour over the years.
The Electrogas saga and its link to the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia intertwined with the Panama debacle.
It is now clearly established that the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia was directly linked to her investigative journalism. Her investigations led her to identify the governance credentials of various holders of political office and their links with big business. Defining their relationship as being too close for comfort would be a gross understatement.
As emphasised in the investigation report on the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination, over the years, a culture of impunity has developed in these islands. This has led to misbehaviour in public office being normalised. It has also led to considerable resistance in the shouldering of political responsibility by holders of political office, whenever they were caught with their hand in the cookie jar! Rosianne Cutajar and Justyne Caruana being the latest examples, as amply proven by the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life George Hyzler.
To add insult to injury Cutajar and Caruana were the recipients of generous termination benefits, notwithstanding that their term of political office ended in disgrace. Caruana received terminal benefits twice in the span of a short time, as she established a national record of resigning twice from Robert Abela’s Cabinet!
With this track record one should not have expected otherwise from the Muscat/Abela administration. With the abusive distribution of cheques on the eve of the general election Labour’s current term is approaching a fitting end.
The Labour Party in government has consistently acted abusively. Robert Abela has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor and mentor Joseph Muscat. Continuity has been ensured, as promised.
ADPD Chairperson and Candidate on Districts 4 & 9
Published in The Malta independent – Sunday 20 March 2022