Four former Speakers said on Thursday they will stay away from a Symposium being organised by the current Speaker, because the country has more important and urgent matters to deal with.  

The Speakers' symposium is due to be held on Tuesday to mark the centenary since the Maltese parliament was formed.

Alfred Bonnici, Lawrence Gonzi, Anton Tabone and Louis Galea said they wrote to Speaker Anġlu Farrugia on Wednesday, saying that they had agreed that in current circumstances, they did not feel it appropriate that parliament should dedicate its time to a ceremonial event such as this when the country faced more important and urgent matters.

They suggested that the activity be postponed.

Alfred Bonnici, Lawrence Gonzi, Anton Tabone and Louis Galea.Alfred Bonnici, Lawrence Gonzi, Anton Tabone and Louis Galea.

The former Speakers did not specifically mention the circumstances they were referring to, but the reference was clearly to the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry report which found that the state should bear responsibility for the murder after having created a climate of impunity.

Speaker Anġlu Farrugia on Tuesday rejected an Opposition request to  summon parliament to debate a no-confidence motion in Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis for having mocked opposition calls for action and justice in chats with Yorgen Fenech.

Fenech is awaiting trial on charges of complicity to murder Daphne Caruana Galizia. 

Alfred Bonnici served as Speaker between 1966 and 1971, Lawrence Gonzi between 1988 and 1996, Anton Tabone between 1998 and 2008 and Louis Galea from 2008-2010, all during Nationalist-led governments. 

 

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