President George Vella should have resigned if he did not agree with a controversial new IVF reform, Opposition leader Bernard Grech said on Thursday.   

Speaking during a short interview on the Nationalist Party’s Net Radio, Grech said he expected better from the president than to “play games” with the constitution.  

Amendments to the IVF law, which open the door for embryo testing, were not signed by President Vella who was reported uncomfortable with the reform.  

Parliament approved the bill three weeks ago, with both parties endorsing the changes to IVF procedures. 

Bills passed through parliament must be signed into law by the president - a procedure that usually takes a few days and is, at least in theory, a formality. 

But days and then weeks passed with no sign of the IVF law being published, sparking speculation that President Vella - a conservative medical doctor - was uncomfortable signing the law and was planning on leaving it to his stand-in Frank Bezzina.

It was signed by Bezzina on Wednesday a few hours after Vella flew out of the country. 

Grech on Thursday said Vella had only one choice if he did not agree with the reform, and that was to resign. 

Vella’s decision has drawn criticism from legal experts who say he did not follow the spirit of the constitution - the supreme law of the country which he is duty bound to uphold.  

The Green party ADPD had said he should be impeached

Traffic and cost of living 

Meanwhile, in a wide-ranging interview, Grech said it was also time for a bi-partisan solution to the island’s traffic problem. 

The problem, he said, was too big to be politicised come election time only to then be dropped for another five-year term. 

File photo.File photo.

Congestion on Malta’s roads is costing hundreds of millions of Euro, not just in the slowdown to the economy, but also in healthcare, and quality of life.  

The government had said during the last legislature that it would spend €700 million to solve the problem. But the situation on Malta’s roads would not be solved simply by widening them. 

“It is time we address the core issue of what is causing traffic in the first place,” he said.  

Turning to rising costs of living, Grech said that while families are trying to manage their spending responsibly, the government was on a rampage of lavish spending sprees. 

Reading out a series of news headlines about overspending, Grech asked listeners whether they would be as loose with their own family’s money. 

A week before the election, the Labour government had sent voters a cheque in the post, now that the election is over, will they be getting any other cheques? he asked.  

“Or does Robert Abela not need you anymore?” 

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