02 February 2005

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Jason Micallef names chairpersons that will be removed
By James Debono

Marisa Micallef Leyson and Michael Falzon will be removed from their respective posts if the MLP is elected to govern after the next general elections. This was stated by MLP general secretary Jason Micallef in during yesterday’s edition of TV programme Int X’Tahseb screened on Smash TV and hosted by Saviour Balzan.
The charismatic and usually soft-spoken Micallef unleashed a verbal attack on Housing Authority Chairperson Marisa Micallef Leyson and Water Services Corporation Chairperson Michael Falzon. He accused them of infringing ethical guidelines and the Estacode through their weekly onslaughts on the MLP in the local press.
“How can one imagine Marisa Micallef Leyson and Michael Falzon acting as chairpersons under a Labour government,” asked Micallef.
The MLP’s General Secretary’s declarations depart from Alfred Sant’s actions when he was elected Prime Minister in 1996. After promising to act as the Prime Minister of all Maltese and Gozitan citizens Dr Sant confirmed several key officials who had served in previous Nationalist administrations. Alfred Sant had shocked Labour die-hards by confirming Marin Hili as chairman of the Freeport and George Grech as police commissioner.
On the other hand, Jason Micallef’s declaration that “in a democracy one cannot have persons in positions of authority who end up disrupting the government’s policies” is very much in line with a similar declaration made by Information Minister Austin Gatt in the early 1990s. Gatt declared that persons in key positions should be politically appointed because their main task is that of implementing the political decisions of a democratically elected government.
The controversy over political appointees is not new and is endemic to both parties but his outspoken comments will not be taken kindly.
When the PN was returned to office in 1998, various public officials appointed by the short lived Labour government like BOV chairman Reno Borg and PBS chief executive Albert Marshall were either not confirmed in their positions or were replaced after a few months.
Micallef’s declaration ignored the issue of meritocracy and his comments are bound to provide fuel for fodder for the PN.

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