The changing faces of a dictatorship in waiting

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The election result is there for all to see and there is no beating about the bush on this. With Prime Minister Joseph Muscat commanding a considerable majority both in terms of votes and also in seats, the situation for the opposition in the country appears to be a dire one. And now a new trend seems to be creeping in – if one criticizes or voices an opposed opinion to the doings of government, you are branded as a traitor or as someone who deserves to be pilloried.

Just after the election result, we heard the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stating that he would be focused on national reconciliation with the catchphrase being used as ‘Ahna Lkoll Ahwa Maltin’ (We are all Maltese brothers and sisters). However the recent developments both in Parliament and in government doings have been anything but. First of all we have had the gay marriage debate which although supposedly showing a united front on both parts has only showed to expose deep divisions between the PN. Muscat took the opportunity to continue wedging a divide between the PN – a clear political tactic. One may argue that this is his prerogative, but the rushing through of the law with absolutely no ear to any sort of amendments was a rather divisive tactic to say the least.

One also has to take note of certain adjournments in Parliament where it is being noted how the situation is changing for the worse with several transfers being effected in government departments and authorities. PN MP Toni Bezzina spoke recently and focused on the appointment of the GWU’s organ’s editor Josef Caruana in a position of trust in the Office of the Prime Minister. Caruana had previously called for the naming and shaming of journalists at The Times and other Nationalist leaning media in a hard hitting editorial. Ironically Prime Minister Joseph Muscat distanced himself from this editorial but he seems to have approved of the former editor’s capabilities since he gave him a plum job at Castille.

And now we have the appointment of Glenn Beddingfield as Chairman of Committees in Parliament. While there is nothing obviously wrong in this appointment, the Prime Minister could have chosen a less divisive figure to this rather sensitive position which is a Deputy Speakership in all but name. The fact that the appointment was not unanimous also gives cause for concern and tends to indicate that the government will be riding roughshod over any opposition in Parliament.

Several rumours have reached this portal with regard to transfers within government departments and other authorities that have been going on at a fast pace since the election result. Although these need to be verified, the trend does seem to be going this way and matters can only get worse as the arrogance of power continues to take its hold. We once again make an appeal for all those who are feeling that they are being aggrieved, or if they have suffered an injustice in any way to make contact with us on with details of their situation. As always confidentiality and privacy will be respected if requested.