Malta's Prime Minister Robert Abela arrives for the second day of a Special European Council summit in Brussels, Belgium, 21 February 2020. EU heads of state or government gather for a special meeting to discuss the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027. EPA-EFE/LUDOVIC MARIN / POOL

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Updated 1333 – One new coronavirus recovery, four active cases

Malta registered no new coronavirus cases for the sixth day running, the Health Department said. With one person recovering, the number of active patients has gone down to four.

Updated 0833 – Newspaper Review

The Times reports that the government has submitted a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed with Vitals Global Healthcare to the Auditor general. The agreement was initially said to have been lost.

Malta Today says that the Office of the Prime Minister has located the missing agreement document with Vitals Global Healthcare and handed it over to the National Auditor Office. The paper says that the MoU was signed by Malta Enterprise.

The Independent says that Prime Minister Robert Abela had ordered an agreement between the Muscat administration and Vitals Global Healthcare to be found after an NAO investigation reported that it had been lost.

In-Nazzjon reports that PN Leader Adrian Delia lost a vote of confidence in the party’s Executive Council on Tuesday night. 47 members voted against his leadership and 36 voted in favour while one member abstained.

L-Orizzont reports on a ‘tense’ PN executive meeting on Tuesday after Adrian Delia was retained as Opposition Leader by the President. The paper says that several people have been engaged to mediate between opposing sides.

The Times follows the PN Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday evening which was also attended by former leader Lawrence Gonzi and deputy leader Tonio Borg. The paper says that Gonzi encouraged Adrian Delia to hold a leadership contest.

The Independent reports that a late-night meeting of the Nationalist Party’s Executive Council on Tuesday debated the future of the party’s leadership after Adrian Delia lost the confidence of the majority in the parliamentary group.

Malta Today quotes PN Leader Adrian Delia ahead of a marathon meeting of the party Executive. He said he expected the discussions to focus on the interests and the political programme of the party.

 

Updated 0804 – Louis Galea calls on Adrian Delia to resign

In a lengthy statement, former PN Minister Louis Galea, who was appointed by Adrian Delia himself to drive reforms in the party, the former Minister laments that the PN leader has ignored the importance of the PN’s Parliamentary Group and Executive Committee. Galea insists that “it is absolutely wrong that Adrian Delia is ignoring the vote taken by MPs, who represent thousands of citizens”.

Full story here.

Morning Briefing

PN and Opposition Leader Adrian Delia lost a second vote of confidence in eight days as 47 executive committee members of the Nationalist Party voted against him yesterday night. Thirty-five voted in his favour while one abstained.

The 84 members present were asked to vote on the question “Do you have confidence in Adrian Delia as leader of the Nationalist Party?”

The motion was put forward by former Birkirkara mayor and Nationalist Party executive member Michael Asciak. Delia strongly opposed this request, arguing that the vote was not on the agenda and that the party rule book did not allow it.

Adrian Delia shrugged off this result, insisting that he will remain as party leader, stating “Those who forwarded the motion knew that it wouldn’t result in anything.” Once again, Delia insisted that his responsibility was towards paid-up members of the party.

With this vote, a PN split remained as one possible option, as indicated on Tuesday by Therese Comodini Cachia, who said that there is a list of alternatives that are being looked into. She stressed that the group of MPs who voted against Delia will continue what they started.

EU welcomes Malta’s rule of law reforms

The European Commission has welcomed Malta’s plans to reform rule of law provisions, which it described as “very encouraging”.  The Commission has been for the past years pressing Malta for important reforms in this area.

In a letter signed by President Ursula von der Leyen,  the Maltese Government was urged to continue its dialogue with the Venice Commission to ensure recommended reforms were fully implemented.

Von der Leyen said that these reforms were “a positive step and a sign of the commitment of the Maltese Government to strengthening the rule of law and judicial independence”.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Prime Minister has located, passed on a memorandum of understanding for the mysterious Vitals Global Healthcare consortium. For months, the Muscat administration had insisted that the agreement was missing.

Coronavirus updates

Malta yesterday registered the fifth consecutive day that no new cases were identified, a feat that has not been achieved since the first case in March. Today, the country re-opens its airport to  flights to and from 28 more “safe” countries which include the United Kingdom, Thailand and China.

CDE News

 

 

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