Parliamentary questions to Prime Minister on Egrant inadmissible, Speaker rules

Identical questions presented to Justice Minister accepted

Speaker Anġlu Farrugia

Speaker Anġlu Farrugia

Speaker Anġlu Farrugia on Tuesday stood by a ruling he had given at an earlier stage that two parliamentary questions submitted by an Opposition MP were inadmissible.

Opposition MP Karol Aquilina had submitted two questions, addressed to the Prime Minister, concerning the Egrant inquiry.

The Speaker said on Tuesday that these questions were were non-admissible because they concerned a matter for which the Prime Minister was not answerable to Parliament, and in which he had a private interest.

Dr Aquilina had asked the Prime Minister whether he would be tabling a full and uncensored version of the Egrant inquiry report, as well as to identify who had access to the report and the respective roles of these people.

The Speaker referred to House of Commons standing orders, which specified that it was within the sole authority of the Speaker to rule on whether parliamentary questions were admissible.

Furthermore, MPs were first to seek redress on rejected parliamentary questions privately from the Speaker, and not raise the issue as a point of order in the House, as Dr Aquilina did on Monday.

The Speaker also pointed out that two identical parliamentary questions, which Dr Aquilina submitted to Justice Minister Owen Bonnici, had been ruled admissible, a fact which, he said, the Opposition MP failed to mention when requesting a ruling.

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