Independent MP Marlene Farrugia yesterday said she will be forging ahead with the no confidence motion she filed against Minister without Portfolio Konrad Mizzi.

“Konrad Mizzi is still part of Cabinet. The Prime Minister’s move is only a cosmetic one. The Cabinet still has someone who decided to open a company in Panama soon after becoming minister and this is unacceptable. We should not stop talking about this issue before action is taken, both against Dr Mizzi as well as chief of staff Keith Schembri,” the outspoken MP said when contacted yesterday.

The motion will be discussed by the Parliamentary House Business Committee on Monday.

Dr Farrugia said she hoped the debate will be held as soon as possible “for us to be able to explain why we needed this motion and why we think that the person who will be responsible for government projects should not be there”.

She questioned why Prime Minister Joseph Muscat did not grasp the opportunity to sack Dr Mizzi, adding that a project manager did not need a place in Cabinet.

“Yes, there is a possibility that Dr Mizzi is holding Dr Muscat to ransom,” she said when asked.

The Cabinet still has someone who decided to open a company in Panama soon after becoming minister

Dr Farrugia said there were “strong suspicions” as to the reasons why Dr Mizzi and Mr Schembri opened their Panama companies and that these made her lose trust in them.

“I do not want them negotiating in my name. If, for Dr Muscat, having someone in Cabinet who opened a secret company in Panama is acceptable and that his standards are so low, I do not have confidence in him [the PM] negotiating on my behalf too,” she said.

She also questioned the reasons why Dr Muscat had retained the energy portfolio.

“Why did he retain a grasp on the energy sector? Why did he retain Dr Mizzi and tasked him with spearheading projects on which we have no details and no documents? It seems that they are protecting some turf. Dr Muscat could have easily sacked him from Cabinet. But what is holding him back? There must be something,” she said.

She added that Dr Muscat had committed a “big strategic mistake” by making himself directly responsible for the energy sector because he will have to shoulder responsibility for anything that goes wrong.

“Strategically this is a very bad move which is not typical of Dr Muscat. His decision could be interpreted as political suicide. This is a big flaw in his decision making but I also understand that he had no other option,” she said.

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