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NEWS | Wednesday, 04 February 2009

Sant decries ‘unconstitutional’ motion

Former Labour leader Alfred Sant yesterday called a procedural motion moved by government as “unconstitutional”.
The motion was presented by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi to change parliament’s timetable and postpone all division votes to Wednesdays for not more than a week.
Sant moved a point of order to say the motion goes against Article 65 of the Constitution of Malta, claiming it impinged on the Parliament’s right to pass laws. “With this motion, the House is being asked to decide not to decide. It is unacceptable that MPs have to take decisions only when instructed by the government,” Sant said.
He said that if the country “was turning fascist, this should be made clear to all the public.”
In his reply, deputy prime minister Tonio Borg said that there was nothing unconstitutional in the procedural motion and this would not limit the debate or the way MPs voted. “If Dr Sant feels that this was being violated he should address this issue to the Court.”
The Speaker of the House later suspended the sitting for a decision on the matter. An hour later, Louis Galea ruled that the motion did not go against Article 65 of the Constitution.


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